1st Edition

Perspectives of Power ELA Lessons for Gifted and Advanced Learners in Grades 6-8

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

    Winner of the 2015 NAGC Curriculum Studies Award

    Perspectives of Power explores the nature of power in literature, historical documents, poetry, and art. Lessons include a major focus on rigorous evidence-based discourse through the study of common themes and content-rich, challenging nonfiction and fictional texts. This unit, developed by Vanderbilt University's Programs for Talented Youth and aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), guides students to explore the power of oppression; the power of the past, present, and future; and the power of personal response by engaging in simulations, skits, creative projects, literary analyses, Socratic seminars, and debates.

    Texts illuminate content extensions that interest many high-ability students including bystander effect, social class structure, game theory, the use and abuse of technology, cultural conflict, the butterfly effect, women's suffrage, and surrealism as each relates to power. Lessons include close readings with text-dependent questions, choice-based differentiated products, rubrics, formative assessments, and ELA writing tasks that require students to analyze texts for rhetorical features, literary elements, and themes through argument, explanatory, and/or prose-constructed writing.

    Ideal for pre-AP and honors courses, the unit features texts from Emily Dickinson, William B. Yeats, and Charles Perrault; art from Moyo Okediji and Salvador Dali; and speeches by Elie Wiesel, Susan B. Anthony, and John F. Kennedy. As a result from the learning in the unit, students will be able to examine powerful influences in their own lives and identify their own power in personal responsibility.

    Grades 6-8

    Acknowledgements Introduction Pretest Pretest Rubric Introduction Lesson 1 “I Like To See It Lap The Miles”: The Power Of Change/Technology By Emily Dickinson Power Of Oppression Lesson 2 “The Dutchman”: The Power Of Cultural Heritage By Moyo Okediji Lesson 3 “Blue Beard”: Unjust Rules By Charles Perrault Lesson 4 “On Women’s Right To Vote”: The Power Of Persuasion By Susan B. Anthony Lesson 5 Dystopian Literature: The Abuse Of Power Power Of Past, Present, And Future Lesson 6 “A Sound Of Thunder”: The Power Of Choice By Ray Bradbury Lesson 7 “The Persistence Of Memory”: The Power Of Memory By Salvador Dali Lesson 8 “The Wild Swans At Coole”: The Power Of Nostalgia By W. B. Yeats Power Of Personal Response Lesson 9 “The Pursuit Of Disarmament”: The Power Of Cooperation Versus Competition By John F. Kennedy Lesson 10 “The Perils Of Indifference”: The Power Of Response By Elie Wiesel Lesson 11 “We Never Know How High We Are”: The Power Of Risk By Emily Dickinson Conclusion 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