Does simply ending an injustice result in justice, or does achieving true justice require something more?
DAY 1 - SEED 1
DAY 2–3 - SEED 2
DAY 4–5 - SEED 3
DAY 6–8 - PLAN 1
DAY 9 - SEED 4
DAY 10 - SEED 5
DAY 11 - SEED 6
DAY 12–17 - SEED 7
DAY 18–20 - SEED 8
DAY 21–23 - SEED 9
DAY 24–25 - PLAN 2
CCSS Standards for this Unit
Download Seeds, Plans, and Resources (zip)
Send Feedback to MSDE’s Reading Team
5 Weeks - "Unit at a Glance" Organizer
Download all unit files (zip)
This grade 12 unit titled "Searching for Justice" guides students in an exploration of the topic of justice and the essential question: "Does simply ending an injustice result in justice, or does achieving true justice require something more?" As emerging adults, high school seniors will soon be taking their places as citizens. Being an involved citizen in a society as diverse and complex as ours has become a challenging task indeed. Issues are complicated, and arguments on all sides of those issues require careful consideration. The notions of justice and injustice are not always as simple and straightforward as they might at first appear. Through reading, writing, and viewing, as well as speaking and listening, students examine the complexity of justice and injustice in order to formulate their own response to the unit's essential question.
In this unit, students encounter a range of sufficiently complex literature and literary nonfiction that challenges them to apply sophisticated analysis and writing skills. They begin the unit with an in-depth look at the topic of justice by conducting a word study and by reading and analyzing a series of quotations. They discuss the nuances and the implications of these quotations and select one quotation to "follow" throughout the unit. As part of their routine writing, students establish a writer's notebook for recording their thoughts and ideas in response to questions and issues that arise throughout the unit to deepen understanding of their chosen quotation. The writer's notebook is critical to the research project at the end of the unit.
Students explore the topic of justice through close analytic reading of protest songs, poems, seminal scenes from a full-length play, and an excerpt of a speech. They analyze non-print text in the form of photographs and other images and a variety of selected film clips. In all cases, students apply selected strategies and protocols that facilitate and deepen analysis and understanding.
Students write routinely throughout the unit by responding to text-dependent questions, paraphrasing and summarizing, periodically revising their initial response to the unit's essential question, and writing essays. Students produce writing that is cohesive, establishing and maintaining a formal style and objective tone while attending to the conventions of standard English. The unit includes a research project that centers on the unit's essential question as well as the specific quotations students' followed throughout the unit. Broken into two short time frames, the research components requires students to research local, state, national, and international issues that support, refute, or challenge the essence of the quotation and/or the unit's essential question. Students synthesize information and ideas from the literature and literary nonfiction studied in the unit and from their research on this issue to marshal evidence for an argument that makes a claim about the unit's topic and essential question. Using a self-selected method, students present their argument to their peers.
Sundry quotations about topics of justice and injustice
Selected protest songs:
A variety of images reflecting issues of justice and injustice
A variety of poems whose themes touch on issues or justice and injustice:
Selected scenes from The Merchant of Venice
Selected film clips from films that address issues of justice and injustice (See Lesson Seed #8 for examples.)
Excerpt from Susan B. Anthony's speech titled, "Is it a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote?"
*IMPORTANT NOTE: Consider the need for Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) and/or for captioned/described video when selecting texts, novels, video and/or other media for this unit. See "Sources for Accessible Media" for suggestions. See Maryland Learning Links: http://marylandlearninglinks.org.