Unit 2: Race


Unit 2: Race


In the second unit of Intro to Critical Literacy: Constructing an Intersectional Worldview, scholars engage with rigorous readings to internalize a deep understanding of how race is constructed in America, the mechanisms of racism and white supremacy as well as how to identify its manifestations in the world.

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Unit Summary:

In the second unit of Intro to Critical Literacy: Constructing an Intersectional Worldview, scholars engage with rigorous readings to internalize a deep understanding of how race is constructed in America, the mechanisms of racism and white supremacy as well as how to identify its manifestations in the world. Scholars begin this unit by learning the definitions of key terms that will be essential for developing and sharpening an analysis of white supremacy and racism. Scholars go onto 5 close reading lessons plans where they explore the origins, evolution, and modern manifestations of race, racism and white supremacy paying specific attention to the role of the legal system and the war on drugs. Scholars then complete a project where they develop their own laws to deconstruct white supremacy and whiteness. They then go onto 5 more close readings analyzing modern manifestations of whiteness and white supremacy.

Overall, this unit consists of 15 lessons. The first lesson is an introduction to essential vocabulary, this is followed by an introductory teacher lead presentation, 10 lessons are close readings where scholars read to learn about the central topics with extension activities that can be either homework or in class activities, a project, a final assessment and a closing circle. This unit is meant to give scholars an understanding of the social construction of race, and the workings of white supremacy and whiteness.  This unit requires scholars to read, to learn, and to think critically about their readings in order to apply content vocabulary. Additionally, the project requires scholars to apply content to their own lives – deepening their understanding of how race impacts their life.

Enduring Understandings:

  • Scholars will understand that race, racism and white supremacy are social constructs with real life implications that affect their lives and the lives of those around them.

  • Scholars will understand how to use their sharpened worldview to take actions to make their communities better.   

  • Scholars will understand that racial categories are fluid and serve the interests of power.

How This Units Connects to Social Justice:

  • Content Connection: The enduring understandings that scholars walk away with builds on their race, class, gender and intersectional lenses to be able to see and name current systems of oppressions. The unit culminates by scholars working on projects to deconstruct systems of oppression in this country.

  • Skill Connection: This unit incorporates a high degree of rigor through reading, text-based questioning and rigorous writing, preparing scholars with the skills needed to be advanced critical thinkers.

  • Pedagogical Connection: This unit is designed to be delivered in a manner that deconstructs traditional Eurocentric educational systems by incorporating circles and reinforcing that the teacher is not the expert but a guide on the journey with scholars. Additionally, readings work on minimizing Eurocentric language (by using terms like Anglo-Americans to describe white colonists during the revolutionary war and colonial time period).

What’s in This Purchase?

  • A Detailed Unit Overview

  • The Re-Imagine Education Lesson Plan Template

  • PowerPoint Presentations for Presentation Lessons

  • 15 Lesson Packets (both Student copies and Teacher Copies with Exemplar Answers) including: 2 Introduction packets, 11 Close Reading packets, 1 project packet, 1 final assessment packet, and 1 closing circle packet. Note: All Introductory and Close Reading lesson packets contain a Do First activity, a Close Reading or Presentation with Guided Notes and Questions, an Extension Activity and an Exit Ticket.

Unit Scope & Sequence:

  1. Presentation Lesson: Introduction Vocabulary

  2. Presentation Lesson: A Very Brief History of Race in America

  3. Close Reading Lesson: The Social Construction of Race

  4. Close Reading Lesson: How Whiteness Was Made

  5. Close Reading Lesson: Reverse Racism?

  6. Close Reading Lesson: What is Anti-Blackness?

  7. Close Reading Lesson: Race-Based Drug Laws

  8. Project Lesson: Create Laws to Deconstruct Whiteness

  9. Close Reading Lesson: The Erasure of Native People

  10. Close Reading Lesson: Racism and Undocumented People

  11. Close Reading Lesson: The Model Minority Myth

  12. Close Reading Lesson: Racialization and Islam

  13. Close Reading Lesson: LatinX and Expanding Whiteness

  14. Assessment Lesson: Race Unit Final Assessment

  15. Discussion Lesson: Race Unit Closing Circle Questions

Standards Alignment:

Common Core Standard Alignment

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.1: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper).

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.5: Analyze in detail how an author's ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text (e.g., a section or chapter).

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.6: Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.10: By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 9-10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range. By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

 AP U.S. History Alignment

  • NAT-4.0 Analyze relationships among different regional, social, ethnic, and racial groups, and explain how these groups’ experiences have related to U.S. national identity.