Portrait II Overview: Exploring Identity

Exploring Identity Through Reading, WritinThe_Absolutely_True_Diary_of_a_Part-Time_Indiang, and Creative Expression

In this unit, we will be reading Sherman Alexie’s Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.  Through this text (and possibly other supplementary texts) we will begin to explore questions of identity—how it is formed and re-formed, and how we perceive the identities of others.  Students will work in reading groups, complete creative and analytical writing assignments, and engage in classroom dialogues, connecting the text to themselves and the world around them.

Text Set

  • Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian (Sherman Alexie)
  • Interviews with the Author
  • TBD

Big Ideas and Essential Questions

  • How do you construct an identity, with regards to race, gender, and other factors?
  • What effect do important life events have on one’s identity?
  • How do we perceive the identities of others?
  • How can reading, writing, or creative expression be used to form one’s identity?
  • Can someone have multiple identities when they are in different settings?

Learning Goals

Please see the corresponding Growth in Student Learning section.

Curriculum Standards

  • RL.8.1. Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • RL.8.2. Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • RL.8.3. Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.
  • RL.8.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
  • RL.8.5. Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style
  • W.8.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
  • W.8.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • W.8.5. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed
  • W.8.7. Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
  • W.8.8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
  • W.8.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • W.8.9a. Apply grade 8 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new”).
  • W.8.10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
  • SL.8.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • SL.8.4. Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
  • SL.8.6. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
  • L.8.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • L.8.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • L.8.3. Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
  • L.8.5. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
  • L.8.6. Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.