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o Throughout the course of this unit, students will:
Analyze and evaluate their own opinions on justice, freedom, and
Synthesize information from various documents for research
Expand their knowledge of multiple perspectives in the United States'
Civil Rights Movement
o Outline initial personal opinions on justice, freedom, and equality, and reevaluate these opinions given new understandings of these themes.
o Create a historical research-based character profile to defend one
perspective of the Civil Rights Movement.
o Summarize main ideas from a text for discussion.
o Sequence and synthesize information from multiple perspectives of research.
o Given a character biography, students will research the characters
background and prepare for a RAFT in which they will defend their
characters stance on violent versus peaceful protests.
o Given their research and character portfolios students will participate in a
RAFT debating the use of violent versus peaceful protests as a response to
social injustice.
Connection between English and Social Studies:
1. Social Studies: Students will be researching topics regarding the civil
rights movement and the essential history goals.
2. English: Students will conduct research using their notes and outside
sources as a means to produce well-written character portfolios.
o Reading Standards for Informational Text
1. 7. Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented
in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as
in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.
o Writing Standards
1. 1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive
topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient
evidence. Explore and inquire into areas of interest to formulate an
a. Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the
significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate
or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically
sequences claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
b. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly,
supplying the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out
the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates
the audiences knowledge level, concerns, values, and possible




c. Use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax to link

the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the
relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and
evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.
d. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while
attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which
they are writing.
e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and
supports the argument presented.
2. 7. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to
answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a
problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate;
synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating
understanding of the subject under investigation.
o Speaking and Listening Standards
4. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence,
conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can
follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives
are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and
style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal
and informal tasks.
o Character biography
o Class notes
o Computer
o Character portfolios
o Paper/Pencil
Anticipatory Set
o A picture of Martin Luther King Jr. and a picture of Malcolm X will be
presented side by side.
o Students will be asked to turn to their neighbor and determine at least 3
differences in philosophies each important figure presents.
Day 1-2
o Students will be introduced to the character portfolio and RAFT assignment
o Each student will take on the persona of a person from the civil rights era.
Each student will research the side (violent/peaceful) that they are assigned
and prepare for a debate in the form of a RAFT. Students will use their notes
from the past lessons, as well as conduct their own research to prepare for
the debate. Their preparations will be compiled in a character portfolio that
includes: a student created backstory, meaningful information on the type of
protest the character was involved in, a well thought out argument in favor of
their assigned protest and a well thought out argument against the other form
of protest.
o After explanation of the assignment students will be given the class period to
research and develop their character portfolios. Students will get time in the

classroom and library to conduct research using their class notes, books, and
valuable sources on the Internet.
Day 3






On the day of the RAFT students will divide into two previously determined
groups. One group will have prepared an argument in favor of violent
protesting and one group will have prepared an argument in favor of peaceful
protesting. Using their prepared arguments groups will work together to write
an argument that they will present to the opposing group.
Groups will present their arguments in the form of a debate, allowing for
rebuttals and group collaboration on responses.
While listening to the opposing group students will evaluate and reflect on
their peers performance using the following observations: presentation
effectiveness and suggestions to strengthen the argument

o The character portfolio assignment will be introduced and students will be
given class time to work on their research.
o Students will use their character portfolios during the RAFT activity and will
turn in their assignment at the end of the debate. Students who may not have
been present on either day of the lesson will still be required to complete and
submit a character portfolio.
o Before leaving class students will finish and turn in their observation sheet by
writing something they learned from the debate.
o After participating in the debate and hearing the prepared arguments from
both sides how would you change your argument to make it more effective?
What aspects of others arguments did you find most convincing? What made
them convincing?
o Provide student with research for their character
o Give a character Profile Outline (i.e. Character Name, Place of Residence,