Phase III 
Scenario ~ How did Ms. Fields do it?




Ms. Faye Fields, Seventh Grade

Name of Unit:

Living in a Diverse Society: Tackling Social Issues

Grade Levels:

5, 6, 7, and 8

Subject Areas:

Social Studies and English Language Arts


Assignment 1...Analysis of Instructional Need
Describe the needs assessment and rationale for your unit of instruction.

In completing an analysis of need for this instructional unit, I identified several gaps between "what is and what needs to be" in my classroom.

In analyzing data from the 2002 North Dakota State Assessment I learned that the students in my classroom scored below the 45th percentile in meeting the English and Language Arts Standard #5: Students write for a variety of purposes and audiences. The specific benchmark reflecting this deficiency was 5.8.3: Understand that writing is a way of expressing and understanding one's self signifying that the students are scoring the lowest on this benchmark.

I have collected writing samples for the past three years and the students’ journals and reflection notebooks also reflect a trend, a deficiency in English and Language Arts Standard #5. For example, after completing a thematic unit on families in which they learned about being part of a family and about the organization and sequence of stories, the students did well with sentence structure but exhibited challenges when asked to illustrate and write a story about how a family member helped them when they were feeling threatened or in need. These samples were assessed with the 6 Traits writing rubric.

I also reviewed the student self-assessments from a project-based learning unit. The project was centered on the September 11th tragedy and how the events affected their lives. The students reflected a lack of understanding of how the events directly connected to their current and future lives. This pointed to a deficiency in Social Studies Standard #1: Students understand the nature and scope of history, Benchmark: 8.1.3 Understand how key events, people, and ideas contributed to United States history; and Standard #7: Students understand the importance of culture, Benchmark: 8.7.2 Understand how culture influences gender roles, ethics, and ideology. A common theme transpired throughout the self-assessments when students reviewed their work to determine what they had learned and what areas of confusion still existed.

Assignment 2 ... Identify Desired Results

Identify the ND Content Standards for your Unit of Instruction


Content Area

Standard # and Name

Benchmark and Description


English Language Arts

Standard #5: Students write for a variety of purposes and audiences.

5.8.3 Understand that writing is a way of expressing and understanding one's self.


Social Studies

Standard #8 Students understand the basic concepts of sociology* and psychology.

8.8.2 Understand the principles governing individual and group behavior within social structures.


Social Studies

Standard #4 Students use social studies resources for a variety of purposes.

8.4.3 Use technology to gather, organize, record, interpret, and evaluate information related to social studies.


Social Studies

Standard #6 Students understand geographic elements as applied to social studies.

8.6.2 Understand the relationship between the characteristics of various world places and regions and historical events and people.


English Language Arts

Standard #3 Students comprehend literature

3.8.3 Understand that a single text may elicit a wide variety of responses.


Social Studies

Standard #1 Students understand the nature and scope of history.

8.1.3 Understand how key events, people, and ideas contributed to United States history.


Social Studies

Standard # 4 Students use social studies resources for a variety of purposes.

8.4.2 Use primary and secondary sources to gather, interpret, analyze, and evaluate


Social Studies

Standard #7: Students understand the importance of culture.

8.7.2 Understand how culture influences gender roles, ethics, and ideology.

What do I want the students to understand long after they leave my classroom?

I want my students to understand the responsibilities and the joys of living and interacting in a social and economically diverse society.

What essential questions will guide and focus teaching and learning on this unit?

What are our responsibilities as members of a diverse society?

What is the difference between being prejudiced and being racist?

What can we learn from Dr. Martin Luther King and others about effective and ineffective strategies for dealing with racism and discrimination?

How is stereotyping hurtful and unfair?

What  is the Unit Learning Goal(s)?

Students will explore what it means to live and communicate in a diverse society. 

What  are the Unit Learning Objectives?

1. After participating in group activities, students will explore the meaning of the phrase "in the minority" by describing their personal experiences in at least 2 or 3 paragraph written reflections.

2. Students will describe racism and how it affects their lives.

3. After examining the experiences of historical figures such as Marcus Jacoby and Dr. Martin Luther King students will summarize prejudice, racism, and civil rights.

4. Using internet resources, the students will communicate globally and share their thoughts and experiences relating to at least 2-3 specific racial/social issues.

5. Students will discuss the role and affect the media plays on how people think about racial and ethnic differences.

6. After previewing television cartoons and videos the students will critique them and share 3 or 4 concrete commentaries.


Assignment 3... Determine Acceptable Evidence (Assessment)

Think about the array of assessment tools that you will incorporate to determine acceptable evidence that will show that students understand this unit. Use the following questions to guide your assessment selections: 

What quiz and test items (e.g. simple content-focused questions that require a single, best answer) will provide evidence of understanding?

Students will be will be assessed with quizzes on terms and strategies. 

What academic prompts (e.g. open-ended questions or problems that require students to think critically and then to prepare a response / product / performance) will provide evidence of understanding?

Students will be asked to compare a situation in their life with that described in an assigned reading in the form of an essay.

What performance tasks and projects (e.g. complex challenges that are authentic, mirror the real world and require a performance or product) will you include that will provide evidence of student understanding?

Students will submit a portfolio/project illustrating their understanding of the topic, showing evidence of self-reflection, and showing evidence of work to inform others.

What other evidence (e.g. observations, work samples, dialogues, student self-assessment) of understanding will you collect?

With guided questions posted by the teacher, students will write in self-reflection journals at the end of each day. Work samples of student art will be collected.


Assignment 4... Teaching and Learning Strategies and Planning for Improved Student Products

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Identify how one or more of the strategies discussed (inquiry-based, problem-based, and project-based) will help promote higher-order thinking and self-directedness with regard to your student learning objectives. Be Specific!

Problem-based learning strategies will be used to involve students in investigating and solving the problems of prejudice and racism. Rather than the instructor defining the problem of prejudice and racism students will research, discuss, experience, and then define the problem. Project-based learning will also be useful as students synthesize their knowledge and determine what they can do to combat prejudice and racism in their community.

Planning for Improved Student Products

Student-learning activities and the resulting end products play a vital role toward increasing student achievement. An end product is generally the driving force and often dictates how the project is organized in an engaged learning activity. The production of the product requires specific content skills and the entire process is authentic, mirroring the real world. The process and the end product are both of critical importance. One cannot happen successfully without the other. You now have the ability to examine your student products and identify the types of instructional practices, learning uses, and student performances that are in greatest need of improvement in order to meet your Phase III building level goals.


Assignment 5... Developing Student Learning Activities

Standard Identifier

Student Learning Activities

Technology Integration Tools

ND Library / Technology Literacy Standards


Learning Activity 1 


S1 and S2

Students are divided into small teams for an activity. A label is placed on each student's forehead that is used for others to determine how to interact with the person (Examples: "Ignore my ideas." "Praise me." "Agree with me." "Argue with me." "Everything I say is stupid."). The students in each team sit in a tight circle and are given a moment to look at the labels on the students in their groups so that they are prepared to react to each member appropriately. Then, the students respond to the question "Are athletes role models?" Students react to each other as explained on the stickers. A video recorder will be used to document the discussion for later review by the class. After five to ten minutes, students will break away from their team and rotate through the classroom computer to enter a paragraph in the class project database describing how the other team members treated them. The database is used throughout the project to record personal journal entries on various topics.

Computer, Video Camera, Database Software

#1 Research (8.1.5); #3 Technology Systems (8.3.2)


Learning Activity 2


S3 and S4

The students read and discuss "The Minority Quarterback" found on the Internet. Students "turn on" the vocabulary (where words are linked to Webster's dictionary) and the geography (where countries and states are linked to an Atlas). ( After reading and class discussion, the students use word processing to write an essay describing where they think the individuals in the "The Minority Quarterback" learned attitudes of prejudice, racism, intolerance and hatred.

Computer, Internet, Wordprocessor

#1 Research (8.1.3; 8.1.6) and #3 Technology Systems (8.3.2)


Learning Activity 3



Students will communicate globally through the use of an online questionnaire. The students use an online questionnaire sharing their thoughts and experiences relating to racial/social issues. They read responses from students from around the world.

Computer, Internet

#3 Technology Systems (8.3.2; 8.3.5) and #4 Collaboration (8.4.1; 8.4.4)


Learning Activity 4



Students read and discuss "Rascal or Racist? Censoring a Rabbit," ( focusing on why the Cartoon Network decides not to air 12 cartoons in its Bugs Bunny marathon? Students critique videos of cartoons currently running on television and share their reviews with the class.

Computer, Internet, and Television

#1 Research (8.1.3; 8.1.4; 8.1.6) and #3 Technology Systems (8.3.2)


Learning Activity 5


S6 and S7

Students listen to Dr. Martin Luther King's famous speech, "I Have a Dream" (Full print text also available). The class discusses ways to bring their messages to the attention of their fellow students at school and to their community. How can they send a message of non-violence, just as Dr King did? Posters, bulletin boards, a concert, a peace march, or the Internet are some suggestions.

Computer, Internet, Desktop Publishing Software

#1 Research (8.1.3; 8.1.4; 8.1.6) and #2 (8.2.1; 8.2.2; 8.2.3)


Learning Activity 6



The students review The Arts section on the website: They use an art software program, scanner, and/or digital camera to develop a poster depicting racism or prejudice.

Computer, Internet, Variety of Software, and Peripherals

#1 Research (8.1.3), #2 Media/Technology (8.2.1) and #3 Technology Systems (8.3.1; 8.3.2)


Assignment 6... Interim Review, Implementation, and Reflection

Congratulations, you have now completed your unit of instruction template and are ready to contact TWT for an Interim Review . Remember, your interim review request must be submitted by October 31st, 2004 to receive full credit on this piece. The TWT instructors will use the Course Assessment Rubric to provide feedback on your unit. You should have been using this rubric as a guide during your development.

Once you request your interim review you are ready to begin implementation. At the completion of your implementation period, be sure to return to this template and document any high points, tips, or lessons learned. Providing this extra insight into your unit is often a very useful piece for other teachers.

High Points, Tips, and Lessons Learned during implementation:

Although this standard-based unit met the goals and objectives for which it was designed, there are some additions and adjustments that I would make.

When I implement it again, I will add a research component to expand their understanding of racial diversity, more specifically the differences between being prejudiced and being racist. I may use the "Introduction to the Negro Baseball Leagues" story as an anticipatory set for class brainstorming. From that discussion the class would establish a specific research topic(s) to find out more about the happenings in the Negro Leagues and the Major Leagues during the time period from 1900 to 1946.

This unit also needs more cooperative learning strategies. Incorporating a jigsaw strategy would be effective for the additional activity on the “Negro Baseball Leagues.” In using jigsaw cooperative teams of four students, the students would write four essential or key questions and then research independently and record their results. At the end of a designated time period, the cooperative teams would come back together to share the information that they have gathered. Recording common results is a way of letting students know that their research has been successful. It will also heighten the accountability factor. I would use a rubric for assessing the teamwork component.

In reviewing the self-reflection journals and the illustrated writings in the student portfolios, twenty out of twenty five wrote comments about the sadness and sorrow that they endured while involved in the student learning activities. I need to consider adding some activities that will strengthen their understanding of the joys of living and interacting in a social and economically diverse society.




You may also view Ms. Field's unit of instruction in the TWT Unit of Instruction database. 

Login to the PCC site at

Click on the "Go" button in the Unit of Instruction box that directs you to the Search for Unit of Instruction page.

Search for:

Grade 7

Social Studies

Click on the "Living in a Diverse Society: Tackling Social Issues" link to view Faye Field's Unit of Instruction Proposal.


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