Students begin their deep dive into the topic of American Indian boarding schools by examining artifacts that they will encounter in the module in order to infer the topic. Students are then introduced to the anchor text, Two Roads by Joseph Bruchac, reading a few excerpts from the early chapters to draw inferences about the text's key characters. Before diving deeper into the anchor text, students examine supplementary texts carefully selected to develop understanding of the topic's historical context. A speech by Captain Pratt, the founder of Carlisle Indian boarding school, and the first-person account of this school by Zitkala-Sa, a member of the Yankton tribe, allows students to examine and reflect on multiple perspectives. Students also use these texts to practice explaining how an author's point of view is conveyed and what impact connotative and figurative language has on meaning. Finally, students paraphrase the key ideas and demonstrate understanding of the perspective being conveyed in the Meriam Report, commissioned by the US government to uncover the terrible conditions of the boarding schools. Students then examine photographs of the scenarios described in the report and practice integrating the information from the excerpts with information from the photos to develop a more cohesive understanding of the topic as a whole. For the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment, students examine a different section of the same narrative from Zitkala-Sa, and answer selected response questions about vocabulary and figurative language in the text and about Zitkala-Sa's point of view and how it is conveyed in the text. Students also answer a constructed response question asking them to integrate ideas from the text with their interpretations of two related photographs.
In the second half of Unit 1, students return to the anchor text at chapter 9. In-class tasks, including two Language Dives using sentences from the anchor text, invite students to examine the way that the author develops Cal's point of view and advances the plot, as well as explore a key character's code-switching among language varieties. These tasks support the development of skills that students independently apply in the End of Unit 1 Assessment. The assessment requires students to read the beginning of chapter 18 of Two Roads and answer selected response and short constructed response questions to analyze the structure of the text, interpret the use of intensive pronouns, examine how Bruchac develops Cal's point of view, and describe the impact of using language varieties on the development of characters within the text.
Please note: For the 6-8 Language Arts Curriculum, there are Teaching Notes for each unit that contain helpful information for supporting English language learners. These overview notes complement the more specific English language learner supports and differentiated materials within each lesson. You will find the Teaching Notes in the Unit download below.