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Emily Gilles
Dr. Cusick
EL 410-03
9 April 2015
Unit Plan for The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Class Description: 25 students, grade 11, class duration 40 minutes, 3 week unit with the
novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Unit Title: Literary Research on The Reluctant Fundamentalist; Us vs Them

Purpose of Unit: The purpose of this unit is to analyze the effects of colonialism and
imperialism on postcolonial nations, specifically Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. Another
purpose of the unit is to look at vocabulary, literary elements, and most importantly at
how to write a literary research paper. The class will analyze the relationship between the
colonizers- the majority, the us- and the colonized- the minority, the savages, the
them. During this unit, students will be expected to gather information from the
readings in order to create a literary research paper. They will be given the first source
that they will be expected to draw from: Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today. New York:
Routledge, 2015. Print. where they will look at the chapter that I will print/scan for each
student to have a copy. The chapter is Postcolonial Criticism, and will give the students
a reference for the us and them that will be discussed in length during the unit. While
working on this unit, we will reflect back to the unit we did on The Thing Around Your
Neck and the idea of cultural identity, but we will go beyond that to think of ones cultural

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identity connected with how colonization and imperialism has affected that sense of self.
The purpose of setting the unit up in this manner is to give the students a literary research
paper that connects with ideas that they may not be familiar with in order to research
current events, history, and the significance of written language in order to diminish the
ignorance that often creates stereotypes while looking at the intricacies of postcolonial
theory. The final literary research paper should be between 3-5 pages long, and include a
minimum of 3 reputable sources- the novel itself should be the 4th. There will be a week
in which the students have a peer edit/review day, a library day, and then an additional
day to edit before the paper is turned in.

Overarching goals/big ideas: Students will be able to reflect on what post colonialism
means, and will be able to distinguish between the them and the us that goes along
with postcolonial criticism. The students will also have a grasp on vocab, theme,
symbolism, and plot structure by the end of the unit based on daily discussions.
Throughout the unit they will need to share their ideas in group, whole class, and
individual settings both verbally and in writing in order to explore different ideas.

Rationale: I believe that by reading The Reluctant Fundamentalist and discussing it in

class while looking at the vocabulary, themes, symbols, and plot structure throughout the
students will have a grasp not only on how to read and reflect on those readings critically
with journals but they will also have an idea about different cultures and postcolonial
theory. By taking this novel and teaching the students how to write a literary research
paper, they will grow in using a specific criticism applied to their paper, and will also

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learn about colonization/imperialism. The unit is double fold in that way- teaching about
cultures and literary elements while applying criticism into an academic paper that they
can add to their college portfolio. I based the unit from the common core standards and
the Pennsylvania State Standard requirements for 11th grade Reading, Writing, Speaking,
and Listening. By taking this unit a little slower than previous pace of the units, the
students will be able to master the skill of writing a literary research paper.

Adaptation: Have a note taker in place at all times, and provide students who need it
with an extra handout with the most important topics covered. For students with hearing
disabilities, give them a headset when it comes to any material covered through
technology (videos, audio clips, etc.). If students have a visual disability, text with larger
print will be available. Any other accommodations will go on a student-to-student basis in
regards to their individual needs.

Assessment: Assessment will be based on participation, journaling assignments, their

rough draft of the literary research paper, their peer editing assignment, and their final
draft for the literary research paper. The main chunk of points for the unit will come from
the research paper, but journaling will also greatly affect the grade. Some journals will be
completed for accuracy, and some for completion depending on the prompt for the
specific day. All work is to be turned in on time, with exceptions made if arranged with
me. Revision for all work is accepted for a raise of the grade if improvement/mastery is
Week One: Introduction to Unit, Introduction to Author, Start the Novel

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Today is an introduction to the unit, where we will go over the chapter that I will give
them (the Tyson chapter). We will discuss what colonization is, and they will be given
supplementary materials as needed. I will also introduce the literary research paper and
guidelines (tentative ones are described above in the purpose of the unit). This should
take the majority of the class session, but the remaining time will be in explaining the
historical background of US relations with Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. This is meant
to be supplementary information for the novel, which will be in-depth discussed
tomorrow. The students homework for today is to read the chapter that I gave to them,
which will need to be completely finished for Wednesday where they will journal about it
in class.
Today is an introduction to A Reluctant Fundamentalist. We will first introduce the novel,
including some background information on when it was written, and also the trailer for
the movie that was made for the novel!
But, unfortunately, the movie does seem to go pretty astray from the novel. This is meant
to grab attention and get them excited to read the novel, but they need to be aware the
movie is not the book and if they decide just to watch the movie they will most likely do
very poorly. Along with the trailer, they will watch an interview with the author about the
They may also read this written interview if they would like:

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At the end of this class period, they should take 5 minutes to journal their thoughts on the
author or the book. Are they excited? Do they think theyre going to have an emotional
read? Does it look boring? This journal will be graded for completion when all the other
journals are due (at the last day of the unit). Reminder that the reading of the chapter is
due tomorrow, and a journal will be done in class on it for an accuracy grade.
Think about whether you would bring in 9/11 or start in a clean slate? Bring in a map to
show them.
Fundamentalist- defining the word and give them a wide range of definitions to look at.
First, the class will complete their written for accuracy journal about what they learned
from postcolonial criticism. They should have at least 5 facts about the criticism, and one
interesting idea that resonated with them, that they might be interested in looking at for
their literary research paper. Next, the class will read Chapter 1 aloud. If this is not
completed during this class time, they will have the rest of it for homework. They will
have also for homework to read chapters 2-4.
Today is a small group to whole group discussion session. They will begin discussing the
chapters they had assigned for homework in aims to look for vocab, theme, symbolism,
and plot structure but most importantly to see if they can find an us and a them that
post colonization or imperialism has caused. In their journals, they should keep examples
of any us and them that they find in the readings and put the page number with it. This
is an ongoing journal, that will be checked for completion at the end as well. After they

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have settled down in group discussion, we will bring the class to whole group in order to
share any ideas that theyve found. Their homework for tomorrow is to read chapters 5
and 6.
Today will follow the same exact format as Thursday. They will continue their journal,
and continue the same discussion structure. The emphasis today that I will make is to
continue thinking about their essay, and whether or not theyre satisfied with what theyre
finding as evidence in the novel. Homework today will be to read chapter 7 and 8.
Week Two: Chapters 7-12 and Library Day
Today will follow a different format then the group to whole discussion. Today, they will
journal their findings of specific us and them instances in the chapters, as well as they
must list any vocabulary or concepts that they were unsure about. After theyve
completed this (about 15-20 minutes) they will partner up and look over the vocab list
and the us them section. If they cannot figure out a vocab word still, they may look it
up in a dictionary or ask on me for help. Their homework will be to finish the journal if
they havent done so, as this will be graded for accuracy. Tomorrow is a library day, so
bring anything they may need to do research!
Library Day! Remember the guidelines for the literary research essay, and I will be
facilitating and guiding them in the right direction. Their homework for the next day will
be to turn in a working bibliography that theyve started and should have an idea of after

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Collect the working bibliographies, to be checked and given back the next day. After that,
they will read silently chapters 9-11. This is a silent reading day, and they will be
expected to be working silently the entire time. If theyre not reading or have not turned
in the bibliography, they will need to use this time to do that. Any assistance needed will
be given during this time period.
Today will follow the group to whole class discussion format. They will use the entire
period to discuss all the major events that has happened, and will continue to work on
their us and them part of their journal. Their homework for tomorrow is to finish the
book, and they will be expected to come ready to journal.
Today starts with a specific journal prompt that will be graded for accuracy: What is one
part of the novel in which you had a real emotional reaction? Was it anger? Was it
sadness? Was it understanding? Was it intense boredom? They must cite the page number
for this, and theyll be given half of the class period to journal and the other half will be
whole group instruction. If we continue to have things that we need discussed, we will
carry it into Monday.
Week Three: Additional Research Day, Peer Review Day, Editing Day, and Final
Finish discussion for the whole book, and give them additional research time. The rough
draft is due tomorrow!

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Today the rough draft is due, and they will partner up and peer edit each others papers.
They will be given a peer editing rubric sheet that I will be grading them with as well,
and if time allows they should try to have two peers edit their papers.
Today is a work day, where they will get the opportunity to review their papers and the
peer editing sheets and make any final changes. Tomorrow the final draft is due!
Today the final draft is due, and the journals. We will take the rest of the class time to
discuss their journals. What did they find? What ideas do they have about colonization
and imperialism? Has their idea of identity changed since we read The Thing Around
Your Neck? Questions along this line will be discussed.
Today is an additional day in case the lesson got pushed back, but I will show them clips
of the movie that are accurate with the novel in this time period unless otherwise needed.