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Big 6+ ELA Projects: 11th Grade GLE (Social Justice)

Lesson Overview

Students will create a written product relating to a social justice issue in the United States.  Students will present personal conclusions about the social justice issue based off of research gathered and literature read for this course.   

Look in the Proficiency Scale Tab for Rubric Information


This is a collaborative lesson taught by both the classroom teacher and the school librarian. Get in contact with your school librarian early to discuss scheduling and teaching responsibilities.

This lesson plan is a guideline. If you need to make minor adjustments or changes to best suit the needs of your students or the resources in your building, please do so. If you have questions about the curricular requirements, please contact Shelley Erickson or Julie Schik.

At the completion of this lesson, you will need to send two student examples each of a level 2, 3, and 4 project to your curriculum specialist or department head who will in turn submit them to your supervisor.  This can be electronically or as a hard copy.

Task Definition (1)

Teacher—be sure to complete this before going to library/lab for research:

Students will select a social justice issue in the United States of interest to them.  If time allows, students could explore possible topics prior to selection.  After selecting a topic, students will write an inquiry question based off of their topic with Teacher assistance as needed.  Examples:

Topic—Equal pay for women.  Inquiry Question--  How did unequal pay between men and women affect society in the past, how does it affect society today, and where do I see it going from here?  

Topic--Immigration.  What challenges can undocumented students or children of undocumented parents face in society today and how are those challenges being addressed socially and politically? 

Teacher will introduce the requirements for the project.  (See Synthesis & Sharing)

Librarian—can introduce online resources if a pre-topic selection exploration activity is desired.

Formative Assessment: Verify students have selected topic/inquiry ?  (can be visual check or graded assessment)

Info Seeking/Location & Access (2/3)

With direct instruction from the school librarian (with support from the classroom teacher) on search strategies & recommended resources, students will locate information about their selected social justice issue:

  • General information about topic selected
  • History of the social justice issue
  • Social justice issue as it stands today

Possible Sources of information:

  • Gale Opposing Viewpoints
  • Points of View (NebraskAccess)
  • Some sources should be student selected

Your librarian will use your school's direct links to the following district databases when working with students.

Formative Assessment:  Consistent and frequent verbal and visual checks with student to assess if they are able to access quality resources.

Website Resources

Use of Information (4)

Teacher will guide students through transferring information into a notes organizer. (TBD by teacher and/or self-selected by students).

With direct instruction and support from the school librarian, students will create citations for their sources.  Recommendation to use district subscription to Noodle Tools.  Teacher will provide instruction on internal citations as needed.

Formative Assessment:  Visual checks for completion.  And/or, individual conferencing with students to determine if ready to move on to synthesis and sharing.

Synthesis & Sharing (5)

Teacher will review the requirements for the final project and assist students as necessary.

Students will create a final product that includes

  • A brief history of the social justice issue in the United States
  • The social justice issue as it stands today
  • The student’s personal perspective on the issue based on the research conducted
  • How the social justice issue relates to literature read for this class.

Students may choose the most effective way to organize these points in their paper.

Product options include:  a literature review with a conclusion that sums up the student’s opinion based on the literature reviewed; a compare and contrast of the social issue past and present and where they think it is going for the future; an action plan: letter to the editor or government official regarding the issue and recommendations for action or a detailed public service announcement with recommendations for action; or a traditional formal essay.  The paper should include all required elements and have a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.  Source information should be cited through internal citations and a works cited page.

Optional:  Verbal presentation for the entire class or in small groups.

Formative Assessment: Rough draft feedback.

Summative Assessment: Use provided rubric to grade final product.

Self-Evaluation (6)

Teacher will guide students as they complete the self-evaluation form containing teacher selected items from the form included below.

The self-evaluation can be as brief (one question) or as long as the teacher deems necessary.  This can be a graded or non-graded activity.         

Citation Resources

Noodle Tools

Noodletools provides a format for creating research papers.  It provides an area for notetaking, citation creation, and paper formation.

Guides for using Noodle Tools

This 20 minute video gives an overview on how to use NoodleTools.

This video shows how to create a new project.

This video shows how to check the format of your citation.

This video shows how to add a preformatted citation from a database or website.

Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531-299-9822).

Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531-299-9822).