1st Edition

I, Me, You, We Individuality Versus Conformity, ELA Lessons for Gifted and Advanced Learners in Grades 6-8

By Emily Mofield, Tamra Stambaugh Copyright 2016
    226 Pages
    by Prufrock Press

    Winner of the 2016 NAGC Curriculum Studies Award

    In I, Me, You, We: Individuality Versus Conformity, students explore essential questions such as “How does our environment shape our identity? What are the consequences of conforming to a group? When does social conformity go too far?” This unit, developed by Vanderbilt University’s Programs for Talented Youth and aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), includes a major emphasis on rigorous evidence-based discourse through the study of common themes across rich, challenging nonfiction and fictional texts.

    The unit guides students to examine the fine line of individuality versus conformity through the related concepts of belongingness, community, civil disobedience, questioning the status quo, and self-reliance by engaging in creative activities, Socratic seminars, literary analyses, and debates. Lessons include close-readings with text-dependent questions, choice-based differentiated products, rubrics, formative assessments, and ELA tasks that require students to analyze texts for rhetorical features, literary elements, and themes through argument, explanatory, and prose-constructed writing.

    Ideal for pre-AP and honors courses, the unit features short stories from Kurt Vonnegut and Ray Bradbury, poetry from Emily Dickinson and Maya Angelou, art by M. C. Escher and Pablo Picasso, and primary source documents from Plato, Eleanor D. Roosevelt, William Bradford, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau.

    Grades 6-8

    Acknowledgements Introduction Pretest Pretest Rubric AN EXAMINATION OF IDENTITY: How Does Our Environment Shape Our Identity? Lesson 1 “Dark They Were and Golden-Eyed by Ray Bradbury Lesson 2 “All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury Lesson 3 “Day and Night by M. C. Escher AN EXAMINATION OF RISK: Against the Status Quo Lesson 4 “Letter to DAR” and “My Day” Column by Eleanor Roosevelt Lesson 5 Picasso’s Guitars and Plato’s Theory of Forms Lesson 6 “Much Madness is divinest Sense AN EXAMINATION OF SOCIAL CONFORMITY Lesson 7 The Mayflower Compact by William Bradford Lesson 8 “Alone by Maya Angelou Lesson 9 “Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut AN EXAMINATION OF NONCONFORMITY: A Force of Social Change Lesson 10 Excerpts From “Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson Lesson 11 Excerpts From “Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau Lesson 12 Final Reflection and Culminating Project Posttest Posttest Rubric References Appendix A: Instructions for Using the Models Appendix B: Blank Models and Guides Appendix C: Rubrics About the Authors Common Core State Standards Alignment


    Emily Mofield, Ed.D., is a consulting teacher for gifted education in Sumner County, TN. She is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher in language arts and has taught gifted language arts classes for 10 years.

    Tamra Stambaugh, Ph.D., is the Director of Programs for Talented Youth at Vanderbilt University. She is the coauthor (with Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska) of Comprehensive Curriculum for Gifted Learners, Overlooked Gems: A National Perspective on Low-Income Promising Students, and the Jacob's Ladder Reading Comprehension Program.

    "My favorite thing about these books is their organization around abstract themes and their use of classic literature and art to support the theme. Fantastic use of differentiation strategies that go broad as well as deep."

    Ian Byrd, Byrdseed.com, 4/14/17

    "[This book] provides almost unlimited ideas for introductory activities, text-based questions, reflection and discussion questions, projects and final assessments . . . Overall, I really recommend this resource to ELA teachers and to anyone interested in having students think about the topics presented."

    Amy Cummings, MiddleWeb, 1/1/16