Context

 This unit is designed for a 12th grade general English course in a diverse district. The students come from various backgrounds and ethnicities as well as socioeconomic statuses. There is an even mix of male and female students in the class.  The previous unit focused on the critical analysis of various genres of film. The students worked to both analyze and critique the different themes relating to the films and also the specific affordances and drawbacks to film as a mode for communication.  The following unit will focus on WWII and engage ideas of human interactions and relationships on all levels through the novel Night by Elie Wiesel and the graphic novel Maus I by Art Spiegelman.

Unit 
Students will engage in inquiry-based research on a social issue of their choice  The unit will be supplemented with various modes of texts to help students understand the many facets of inquiry and how both audience and purpose inform the choice of genre used to relay information  Through in-class experimentation with multiple forms and genres students will in turn create a multi-genre research project of their own that highlights a specific purpose pertaining to their social issue

Themes/Concepts 
     Different methods of inquiry Form = Audience + Purpose Multiple perspectives The relevance and nature of “facts” Exploration of multiple genres/forms Power of language/writing

Essential Questions 
What does it mean to engage in inquiry-based research? How do I do this effectively?  How do I present research in a meaningful way?  How can language and writing be manipulated to reflect a specific purpose?  How do I apply what I know about purpose and audience to inform my choice of genre?  How does perspective/purpose affect “facts”?

Rationale 
Students will learn about and experience the process of inquiry in a meaningful way by researching topics that are relevant to their own lives and the lives of others  The overall themes, concepts, and essential questions driving the unit engage students in critical thinking skills that allow them to not only learn about new information but also reconsider information and ideas they are already familiar with  Inquiry is placed in the students’ hands as they are able to choose their own topics for inquiry and the genres in which they showcase what they have learned throughout their research leading to increased motivation and participation throughout the unit and project  Students are scaffolded throughout the unit through class discussions, examples of multiple modes and genres, and experimentation with different forms and genres to aid in the creation of their own multi-genre research projects. Students are scaffolded again through the process of inquiry by also focusing on a common topic as a class, genocide, which serves a dual purpose. Scaffolding through the research of a common topic in addition to their individual topics allows students to collaborate as well as build information and a context for the next unit, which focuses on WWII.  The final assessment engages multiple intelligences and multiple literacies as well as creative writing skills through presentation of research with a specific purpose in multiple forms.  Arranging meetings with the student and a significant other of their choice provides an authentic audience for their work, which will stimulate motivation and hard work while also offering recognition for their participation and active engagement in the project.

Goals for Unit 
Students understand the process and value of effective research  Students are motivated and engaged in the process of inquiry through the freedom to choose topics and genres that interest them and pertain to their own lives  Students present the findings of their inquiry in a way that is well-informed through close examination of audience, form, and purpose  Students question and think critically about the role perspective

and purpose play in the pertinence, validity, and value of factual pieces of information

Standards
Michigan standards met:  1.1: Understand and practice writing as a recursive process  1.2: Use writing, speaking, and visual expression for personal understanding and growth  1.3: Communicate in speck, writing, and multimedia using content, form, voice, and style appropriate to the audience and purpose  1.4: Develop and use the tools and practices of inquiry and research—generating, exploring, and refining important questions; creating a hypothesis or thesis; gathering and studying evidence; drawing conclusions; and composing a report  1.5: Produce a variety of written, spoken, multigenre, and multimedia works, making conscious choices about language, form, style, and/or visual representation for each work  2.1: Develop critical reading, listening, and viewing strategies  2.2: Use a variety or reading, listening, and viewing strategies to construct meaning beyond the literal level  3.4: Examine mass media, film, series fiction, and other texts from popular culture  4.1: Understand and use the English language effectively in a variety of contexts and settings

References 
Gardner, Howard. Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York: Basic Books, 1993.  Smagorinsky, Peter. Teaching English by Design: How to Create and Carry Out Instructional Units. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2008.  McCann et. al. Reflective Teaching, Reflective Writing. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2005.  Putz, Melinda. A Teacher’s Guide to the Multigenre Research Project. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2006  Hale, Steven. “Choosing and Writing for an Audience” http://facstaff.gpc.edu/~shale/humanities/composition/handouts/ audience.html  Simic, Marjorie. “Publishing Children’s Writing” http://www.indiana.edu/~reading/ieo/digests/d85.html  Sherry, Michael. Research on Portfolios and Authentic Audiences