Defining Key Terms: Gender and Internal Identity | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G7:M2B:U1:L2

Defining Key Terms: Gender and Internal Identity

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can cite several pieces of text-based evidence to support an analysis of informational text. (RI.7.1)
  • I can determine the central ideas in informational text. (RI.7.2)
  • I can analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text. (RI.7.3)

Supporting Targets

  • I can cite specific evidence from "Team Players" to support an analysis of the text.
  • I can determine the central ideas in "Team Players."
  • I can analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in "Team Players." 

Ongoing Assessment

  • Reader's Notes: Not Much, Just Chillin', pages 105-106 (from homework)
  • Identity anchor chart
  • Reader's Notes: "Team Players"


AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

     A.  Collecting Homework/Identity Journal Entry Task (5 minutes)

     B.  Unpacking Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2.  Work Time

     A.  Reading and Answering Text-Dependent Questions: "Team Players" (20 minutes)

     B.  Guided Practice: Reader's Notes: "Team Players" (10 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

     A.  Reviewing Identity Anchor Chart and Learning Targets (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

     A.  Complete the Identity column and the Reader's Dictionary for "Team Players."

  • This module includes a new type of supporting material for reading lessons that is explained more fully in the module and unit overviews: a Close Reading Guide (for teacher reference). This guide is used in lessons that involve the close reading of part of the text and is sometimes (as in this lesson) accompanied by a recording form on which students can record their thinking about text-dependent questions. See Work Time B.
  • In this lesson, students deepen their working concept of identity by exploring how gender expectations influence identity formation. They then add to or revise their definition of identity on the Identity anchor chart, as they will with each piece of text they read in this unit. Students begin to read the central texts of Unit 1, six nonfiction texts on identity from a variety of genres. The sequence of homework, lessons, and assessments in this unit has been carefully designed to provide appropriate supports during class and to make sure that students who are struggling with reading complex text at home will not be unduly disadvantaged on assessments.
  • Students write and reflect regularly in their identity journals. The journals and the anchor chart provide consistent documentation, which helps make student thinking visible so they can revisit it later and also provides valuable formative assessment data about how students' knowledge changes and grows over the course of the unit.
  • In this lesson, students have guided practice with the Reader's Notes that they will use throughout their reading of the articles. Reader's Notes provide practice to achieve the learning standards for the unit, including summarizing, making inferences, and vocabulary work. As suggested in the Unit 1 Overview, decide how you will organize, check, and collect Reader's Notes. It is possible to organize the Reader's Notes differently to meet the needs of your students.
  • The homework routine is designed to support students in a first read of a given section of text in class, combined with a series of text-dependent questions. Then, at home, students reread the most central sections of the text to complete Reader's Notes. The Reader's Notes provide structures that help them make meaning of the text. 
  • The Reader's Notes that students will use for homework are attached to the lesson in which the homework is assigned, as is the teacher reference. You will need the teacher reference the next day to review vocabulary. The Reader's Notes are collected and assessed periodically to make sure students' understanding is accurate. After evaluating their work, return these packets so students can refer to them as they write their argument essay (in Unit 2).
  • Consider using the Lesson 1 homework (pre-assessment) to list, map, or graph the students who are proficient, not proficient, or partially proficient at the standards assessed so you can use this information as the module proceeds.
  • In this lesson, students read "Team Players," which discusses a team training program that helps young men identify and break through cultural stereotypes about males and male athletes in particular.
  • As a possible extension activity for students who either finish working early or are seeking a challenge, consider assigning the short story "I Stand Here Ironing" by Tillie Olsen and asking them to reflect on the text's message about gender roles and identity. They could add this as an entry in their journals or submit it to you for review.
  • In advance:

-   Review the Unit 1 Overview; Preparation and Materials; "Team Players"; "Team Players" Reader's Notes.

-   Consider what type of pep talk or planning in class will help your students be successful with completing more rigorous reading assignments for homework. Time is built into the lesson to discuss this with students; consider what your class needs to hear from you or discuss.

-   Consider whether your students may have difficulty discussing the topic of this lesson, since it may be so personal and/or so deeply embedded in their experience and potentially difficult to articulate. Keeping questions and discussion focused on the text, rather than the students' own experiences, may be a way to create a "safe" discussion space within the lesson.

-   Prepare to explain to students how their work will be organized and how you will check and collect it.

  • Post: Learning targets. 


analysis, central idea, interaction, stereotype; atypical, conception, socialized, exacerbated


  • Identity journals (begun in Lesson 1; one per student)
  • "Team Players" (one per student)
  • Text-Dependent Questions: "Team Players" (one per student)
  • Document camera
  • Close Reading Guide: "Team Players" (for teacher reference; see Teaching Note)
  • Reader's Notes: "Team Players" (one per student)
  • Reader's Notes: "Team Players" (answers, for teacher reference)
  • Identity anchor chart (begun in Lesson 1)
  • Sample Cultural Identifiers anchor chart (from Lesson 1)
  • Identity anchor chart--student version (in identity journals; begun in Lesson 1)


OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Collecting Homework/Identity Journal Entry Task (5 minutes)

  • Collect the homework from Lesson 1. Reiterate that this is not a graded assessment, but you will be examining it to see how the students did on the questions.
  • In their identity journals, have students independently fill out Entry Task, Lesson 2:

*   "Think about the two pieces of evidence you identified for homework in Question 2. Explain how you might see, or might not see, similar behavior or ideas in your own middle school experience or other experiences you may have read about."

  • Cold call three or four students to share their answers.
  • Research indicates that cold calling improves student engagement and critical thinking. Prepare students for this strategy by discussing the purpose, giving appropriate think time, and indicating that this strategy will be used before students are asked questions.
  • Some students may benefit from being privately prompted before they are called on in a cold call. Although cold calling is a participation technique that necessitates random calling, it is important to set a supportive tone so that use of the cold call is a positive experience for all.
  • Wherever possible, have students who need physical activity take on the active roles of managing and writing on charts or handing out materials.

B. Unpacking Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to today's learning targets:

*   "I can cite specific evidence from 'Team Players' to support an analysis of the text."

*   "I can determine the central ideas in 'Team Players.'"

*   "I can analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in 'Team Players.'"

  • Tell students that when we work with informational text, it's important to have the right mental "toolkit"--a set of skills that helps us understand the text and figure out all the layers of meaning in it. Having these skills means we can use these texts to learn what we need to know about certain situations, which will help us make good decisions. Remind students that they have had lots of practice citing evidence and determining the central idea of text in Module 1.
  • Focus students on the third learning target, which may be less familiar. Ask:

*   "What does it mean to analyze an interaction?"

  • Invite volunteers to share their thinking. Guide students, as needed, to define interaction (a process through which several things, possibly people, affect each other). Point out the prefix inter-, which means "between," and connect it to students' understanding of the word interstate: a road that goes between states. Tell students that readers often ask questions about how different elements of text interact with each other (for example, how Salva and Nya learned to be persistent because they lived in a challenging physical environment).
  • Finally, define analyze (to examine something carefully; to understand it by looking at its parts). Point out that in Module 1, when students were discussing how Salva and Nya survived, they were analyzing the interaction of character and setting. Point out that through analyzing the text, they will "get to know" the text better--one of the main reasons that reading any text is enjoyable. Assure them that this intellectual work will actually make the reading process more enjoyable and a richer experience.
  • Consider posting key academic terms with visual representations around the room for students to refer to during the course of the module.
  • Discussing and clarifying the language of learning targets helps build academic vocabulary.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reading and Answering Text-Dependent Questions: "Team Players" (20 minutes)

  • Distribute the article "Team Players." Ask students to talk with a partner about this prompt:

*   "You already know that this module is about identity. Based on the title of this article, how do you predict it might deal with identity?"

  • Cold call two or three students for their answers. Reveal that the article is about examining the very strong expectations of how boys and men should behave in sports. Invite students to have a brief discussion with you about their own experiences in this area.
  • During this discussion, clarify as a class the meaning of the word stereotype: an idea that many people have about a thing or a group and that may often be untrue, or only partly true. Note that this article deals in particular with American society's stereotypes of men.
  • Distribute the Reader's Notes: "Team Players." Ask:

*   "How are these Reader's Notes similar to your Reader's Notes for A Long Walk to Water?"

*   "How are these Reader's Notes different?"

  • Listen for students to notice the similar format for the Reader's Dictionary and the different headings for the gist notes. Tell them that, as in A Long Walk to Water, they'll want to fill in the Reader's Dictionary as they go but should probably wait until the end of the class reading to fill in the other notes.
  • Tell students that in some lessons, including this one, you or they will read aloud. Remind them that when they are listening, they also need to be reading silently to themselves.
  • Distribute Text-Dependent Questions: "Team Players" and display a copy using a document camera.
  • Use the Close Reading Guide: "Team Players" (for teacher reference) to guide students through the reading and text-dependent questions. 
  • Hearing a complex text read slowly, fluently, and without interruption or explanation promotes fluency and comprehension for students. They are hearing a strong reader read the text aloud with accuracy and expression and are simultaneously looking at and thinking about the words on the printed page. Be sure to set clear expectations that students read along silently in their heads as you read the text aloud.
  • Providing models of expected work supports all learners, especially those who are challenged.
  • When reviewing graphic organizers or recording forms, consider using a document camera or chart paper to display the document for students who struggle with auditory processing.

B. Guided Practice: Reader's Notes: "Team Players" (10 minutes)

  • After finishing the close reading, display the student version of the Reader's Notes for "Team Players" and model how to fill them out. You may find the Reader's Notes: "Team Players" (for teacher reference) to be a helpful resource, but it is useful for the students to actually watch you fill the chart in.
  • With students' input, quickly fill in the Title and Central Idea columns.
  • Next, direct students to work with partners to choose the correct inference in the Inferences column. Remind them that inference means "an idea or understanding that the reader gets from the text, even though it's never directly stated."
  • When they are done, ask several pairs to share out. Share the correct answer.
  • Skip the fourth column, Identity. Tell students they will complete this column for homework. But if needed, clarify the Identity question that is at the top of this fourth column before moving on.
  • Finally, focus students on the fifth column of the chart. Explain that these questions will help them focus on the interaction of individuals, events, and ideas.
  • Direct students to work with their seat partners to answer these questions. Circulate to support them as needed, directing them back to the text for evidence. Use your circulating to select several strong pairs to share out; script their answers as they share to create a common public record of a strong answer.
  • Inform students that they will be able to check the answers to the blank spots on their Reader's Dictionary in the next class, just as they did in Module 1 with A Long Walk to Water.

Closing & Assessments


A. Reviewing Identity Anchor Chart and Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the posted Identity anchor chart and the Sample Cultural Identifiers anchor chart, and have them turn to the Identity anchor chart--student version in their identity journals.
  • Have students turn to a partner and discuss:

*   "Where would "Team Players" fall in our Sample Cultural Identifiers?"

  • Listen for them to say "gender."

*   "What can we add to our working definition of identity after having analyzed this article?"

  • Listen for students to say that society expects certain behaviors from certain genders; that those expectations can change; that it can be very difficult to change those expectations; and that the expectations can become a part of our identity unless we do something to change them or someone else helps us to make that change.
  • Record the answers on the posted Identity anchor chart and have students copy them down in their Identity anchor chart--student version.
  • Preview homework as needed. Alert students that they will need both "Team Players" and the excerpt from Not Much, Just Chillin' to complete the homework. Note that this homework will be collected and formally assessed, so students should give it their best effort. Remind them to fill in the Identity column and look up the one word in their Reader's Dictionary.


  • Complete the Identity column and the Reader's Dictionary for "Team Players."

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