In this unit, students move from the monologues of medieval times to modern voices of adversity. They do this through a study of John Grandits’s concrete poems in the collections Blue Lipstick and Technically, It’s Not My Fault. As in Unit 2, students continue to read closely for word choice, figurative language, and themes of adversity found in these poems. Students consider how these themes of adversity apply to their own lives and the lives of their peers. In the mid-unit assessment, students are assessed on speaking and listening skills as they participate in discussion groups focusing on the language of the poems, the themes of adversity conveyed in these poems, and the connections between the voices of these poems and the voices from the characters of Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!
In the second half of the unit, students identify a theme of adversity they would like to convey in their own writing. Then, through a series of narrative writing lessons, and using either a monologue from Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! or a John Grandits concrete poem as a model text, they write their own modern monologue or concrete poem. For the end of unit assessment, students submit their best draft of their writing. For the performance task, students orally present this narrative to an audience of their peers.