In this module, students explore the concept of personal identity formation and transformation in both historical and modern-day societies. The module begins with an overview of what “identity” means and how it can mean different things to different people. In Unit 1, students read first-person narratives that focus on various social identifiers—from race to gender to socioeconomic status—as they begin to frame their understanding of what identity means. Students read informational text, identifying central ideas, analyzing how an author develops his or her claims, and identifying how the sections of the text interact to form those ideas.
Unit 1 builds students’ background knowledge in preparation for Unit 2, during which students closely read Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw and further explore the identity transformation of the play’s main character, Eliza Doolittle. This unit centers on standard RL.7.3, which focuses on how plot, character, and setting interact in literature. As an end of unit assessment, students write an argumentative essay about Eliza’s changes internally and externally as she undergoes the experiment of recreating herself under Higgins’ tutelage.
In Unit 3, students analyze the impact of gender roles and stereotypes in personal identity development as influenced by the media and advertising. As students read and discuss both literary and informational texts, they strengthen their ability to discuss specific passages from a text with a partner, write extended text-based argumentative and informational pieces, and conduct a short research project. Unit 3 focuses on the research standards W.7.7 and W.7.8 through an investigation of how media and advertising perpetuate stereotypes about gender and affect individuals’ sense of self. As a final performance task, students create an advertisement analysis of a current print ad and modify it by making a “counter ad” that does not rely on gender-specific stereotypes and instead offers a new vision of what men and women can be.At the end of the module, students will have a better understanding of how society tries to define individuals and how individuals try to define themselves.