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  • Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
African American Hair, Freedom, and Civil Rights: Using Film, Media, and African American Hair Styles to Analyze Civil Rights
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The subject of the treatment of black people based on the hairstyles they decide to wear in professional and academic settings has been dismissed as a nonissue for many years. The policing of black hair has been happening for centuries. In the 1700s, black women in Louisiana were known to wear their hair in elaborate styles, attracting the attention of white men. In order to diminish “excessive attention to dress” among women of color, Spanish colonial Governor Don Esteban Miró enacted the Tignon Laws, which required Creole women of color to wear a tignon (scarf or handkerchief) to cover their hair as a way to indicate that they belonged to the slave class — despite the fact that some of these women were free blacks .Years later, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a significant milestone in the fight for equality, as it banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. But this law still left it up to the courts to decide what constitutes racial discrimination. During this time, many African Americans decided the best way for them to assimilate was to begin to straighten their hair to become more accepted with the hopes of avoiding discrimination. However, the emergence of Black Power as a parallel force alongside the mainstream efforts of fitting into “Eurocentric” culture created the “Good hair” vs “Bad hair” discussions which also created the criminalization and discrimination of African-Americans who choose to wear their hair in its natural state. This unit critically examines choices for African American hair styles and what consequences have arisen because of the hairstyle choice.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
English Language Arts
Literature
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
Provider Set:
Cinema and Civil Rights
Author:
Aisha Al-Muid
Date Added:
07/01/2020
The Awakening of the Black Panther: Shifting the Paradigm of Hollywood’s Portrayal of Africa
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This curriculum unit will examine the lens Hollywood uses to depict the continent of Africa from both the 20th and 21st century. From the viewing of early films such as Tarzan (1918), Trader Horn (1931) and King Solomon’s Mines (1950) to more recent films such as Tears of the Sun (2003), Last King of Scotland (2006), Blood Diamond (2006), Beasts of No Nation (2015), Queen of Katwe (2016) and Black Panther (2018) teachers will guide students as they examine the conceptualization of Africa offered by Hollywood. Students will understand how film is a powerful medium that has the ability to influence society on a local as well as global scale. How significant is Hollywood in helping to shape people’s viewpoint of African people and culture? What is the impact of perceptions imposed by Hollywood films with African settings on global audiences? How did the 2018 Marvel Black Panther (a film which profoundly contradicts the common portrait of Hollywood’s Africa) become such a blockbuster success throughout the world? How has African cinema countered the typical categories of war, corruption, white heroism and chronic poverty? In what ways can film create or disrupt a social/cultural trend? The discourse following these key questions will encourage the analytical and critical thinking needed to write letters to director/character, film reviews, critiques and re-write/direct/film scenes from popular Hollywood films with African themes. The intention of this unit is to eliminate the harmful misconceptions of the African continent as students begin their journey of discovering the humanity of a people that have been inaccurately and historically represented. This curriculum unit was designed after participating in the TIP seminar; History of Hollywood led by University of Pennsylvania Professor of Cinema Studies, Peter Decherney. This seminar was a thorough resource providing the significant background information of Hollywood’s transformations from its inception to the present.

Subject:
English Language Arts
History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
Provider Set:
History of Hollywood
Author:
Wendi Mungai Umoren
Date Added:
07/01/2018
Building Numeracy and Dismantling Math-Phobia Through Problem-Solving
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Unless presented frequently with opportunities to practice habits of mind that facilitate non-standard problem solving, students focus so much on performing a process to get a “right” answer, that they neglect to think about what the answer means in the context of a problem, and whether the numerical answer(s) at which they’ve arrived really “makes sense” considering what a prompt or question is asking of them. They also struggle to draw connections between different topics throughout the duration of a math course and this inability to see relatedness among various topics hinders their ability to really grasp mathematical content in a way in which they can effectively argue about the reasoning used to solve a problem and arrive at an answer. And, as many math teachers have experienced, if students see a problem that looks different than those they’ve practiced over and over again in class, they often shut down. This unit is designed to enable students to approach these unfamiliar and challenging problems with a greater degree of confidence and a greater ability to put to use skills they all already have to successfully solve these problems.

Subject:
Mathematics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
Provider Set:
Philosophy, Science & Society
Author:
Bridget Mason
Date Added:
07/01/2018
Celebrating Cultures of the World Through Reading and Writing Folktales
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This unit is designed for the 7th grade English/Language Arts class. The purpose of this unit is to introduce students to the genre of storytelling and help them explore the purposes and functions of storytelling traditions. Embedded in this unit is cultural exploration and celebration through storytelling. Students will read, discuss and analyze folktales from several cultures. Then students will write their own folktales.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
Provider Set:
Storytelling Traditions of South Asia and the Middle East
Author:
Katherine Volin
Date Added:
07/01/2019
"Choose Your Own Adventure:" Visualizing, Writing, and Creating Word Problems
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This unit aims to remove bad habits that students may have when it comes to solving word problems in math. Using “key words” to solve a word problem is a common method is that often used when teaching word problems. The problem is that many of these “key words” that are common in the English language can be used in a variety of ways, which can then alter the operation of the problem. However, many times while this is taught, one word is given a designation of one operation. This unit teaches students to no longer rely on “key words” and build a greater understanding of what a word problem is actually asking them to do. There is a build in “Choose Your Own Adventure” tool that will allow students to work through a series of questions that will help them deconstruct what the problem is actually asking, which will in turn, bring them to using the correct operation.

Subject:
Mathematics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
Provider Set:
A Visual Approach to Learning Math
Author:
Kyle Iovannoni
Date Added:
07/01/2020
Ciudades mexicanas en el pasado y el presente (Mexican Cities in the Past and Present)
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This Spanish 2 curriculum unit examines cities and urbanism in pre-Hispanic, colonial, and modern Mexico in order to build students’ communication and cultural proficiency. Students will engage in a variety of activities including museum visits, the use of online resources, primary source documents, and videos to build their own communication skills in the target language while developing a deeper understanding of Mexican culture and history. It culminates with an Integrated Performance Assessment that requires students to demonstrate their abilities in the areas of interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communication using the new vocabulary, grammar, and cultural information that they gained over the course of the unit.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Languages
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
Provider Set:
The City in History
Author:
Sean Carr
Date Added:
07/01/2020
Come for It! An Introduction to Poetry and Poetics
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This five-week introductory course is designed to build independent, creative-minded close-readers. Throughout the unit, students question what poetry “does,” how poetry “says,” and where poetry fits in their lives. Students receive ample opportunities to practice the technique of very-close reading, interacting with texts as conscientious readers, thinkers, and writers. Through collaborative and independent work, students learn how to derive meaning from abstruse and “difficult” poems. Each week centers on a solvable problem. First, students learn that aversions to poetry arise from contact with a highly individualistic poetic vision, one that nevertheless articulates common, relatable experiences. Then, students discover the relationship between form and content through the study of metapoems. The third week, with a political bent, examines how three different genres–reportage, fiction, and poetry–take on a single topic: urban violence. The fourth week challenges students’ definitions of poetry by introducing them to radical poetic techniques and the limitless possibilities of creative expression. The fifth week gives students time to prepare for final assessments: close-reading, a class anthology of original creative work, and recitation. Ultimately, students take ownership over poetry, understanding that meaning arises from the creative collaboration between authors and readers.

Subject:
American Literature
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
Provider Set:
Modern and Contemporary U.S. Poetry
Author:
Robert McClung
Date Added:
07/01/2019
Dabbling in the Dark: The Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow of the Black Speculative Aesthetic
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This curriculum unit is designed to serve as an academic introduction to the genre of Black speculative art for middle school students. Through an exploration of the literature of W.E.B. DuBois, the art of Kehinde Wiley, the music of Janelle Monae and the television adaptation of the Black Lightning comic series by Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil, this unit is designed as a survey study of speculative, visionary and science fiction aesthetics.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
Provider Set:
The Dark Fantastic: Reading Science Fiction, Fantasy and Comics to Change the World
Author:
Ryann M. Rouse
Date Added:
07/01/2020
Digital Passport: Exploring Geography through Folktales and Digital Storytelling
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With the constant pressure of standardized testing in Literacy, Math, and Science, how can educators design engaging Social Studies lessons that are content-oriented, yet also incorporate 21st Century Skills that are too often overlooked during test prep? Geography, for example, is minimized in school as the study of maps and places, being simplified to memorizing the names of continents or states. Educators can delve into the richness of geography not simply as the study of physical features but through human geography, and the study of anthropology and culture across place and time. This curriculum seeks to use anthropology and the study of folklore to guide students in a journey across the globe using new technologies. While navigating core curriculum and national standards, educators have a responsibility to weave cultural competencies and 21st Century Skills in their classroom communities. Teaching geography through folktales is a way to navigate this endeavor, by introducing students to different cultures and beliefs from around the world, while increasing their empathy and understanding. Now more than ever, in our increasing Digital Age, students must develop their emotional intelligences.

Subject:
Cultural Geography
Social Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
Provider Set:
Storytelling Traditions of South Asia and the Middle East
Author:
Tia D. Larese
Date Added:
07/01/2019
The Dis-Connection of Our Roots
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Slavery is a topic that has many roots. My prospectus offers a curriculum unit that recognizes and attempts to address how and why African Americans/Blacks are disconnection from their historical and genealogical roots. Basically, every U.S. racial and ethnic group know their roots, where their families originated from, and why and how their families came to America except African American/Blacks. As an African American/Black, I feel disconnected from my roots musically and educationally. As an African American, /Black I have heard White people say, “You need to go back to Africa.” But, exactly where is it I should go? I do not know who my African family is nor where they originated from. I do not know our tribal name or tribe. I cannot pinpoint what part of Africa my family originated from. I have no connection to my roots. What I do know for certain is my ancestors were brought here as slaves. They knew were they came from, but their history was lost in obscurity. My African brothers and sisters do not see me as having a connection to their roots. They feel Africa is not the Motherland of African-Americans/Blacks. And now, we have generations of African-American/Black students saying casually “You treat me like a slave”, or “I am not your slave,” not fully understanding the impact of those words, nor what slavery actually entailed.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
English Language Arts
History
Literature
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
Provider Set:
New Approaches to the History of Slavery: The View from the Penn and Slavery Project
Author:
Stephanie M. Robinson
Date Added:
07/01/2020
Environmental Humanities Through the Lens of a Math Teacher
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This unit is based on the Teacher Institute of Philadelphia’s seminar entitled, “Environmental Humanities, from the Tidal Schuylkill River. What is a river? Who does it belong to? How do we get to hear it’s stories? What does it mean to be a forgotten place? This seminar, through the use of maps, spoken word, graphs, poetry, and place-based learning, opened the doors to the topic of environmental humanities and how it connects to all other academic disciplines.

Subject:
Mathematics
Social Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
Provider Set:
Environmental Humanities from the Tidal Schuylkill River
Author:
Tracy Saltz
Date Added:
07/01/2029
Erasing History: Engaging with Primary Sources Through Erasure Poetry
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Utilizing primary sources is an essential task for both students and teachers of history. The unfortunate reality of using authentic historical documents is that, while important, many students find them dry and uninteresting. This could be at least partially attributed to the fact that the majority of activities surrounding primary sources require students to conduct a routine analysis; in most cases, students read the pieces and answer a series of textually-dependent questions or cite evidence from the text in response to a writing prompt or essay question. Understandably, many students do not enjoy these types of activities. While historical thinking skills are important, there is a huge disparity between the importance of possessing these skills and the level of depth in which students engage with the documents. The beginning of the school year is especially difficult for teaching with primary sources. Students struggle with the language of historical documents in early American history, often becoming frustrated, thus exacerbating an already difficult task.

Subject:
History
Social Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
Provider Set:
Modern and Contemporary U.S. Poetry
Author:
Matthew Menschner
Date Added:
07/01/2019
Evolution: Pokémon v. Bizarre Real Animals
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This 4th to 6th grade unit uses the concepts of Pokémon and bizarre animals to address the lack of scientific understanding about evolution in our public schools. Science shows up everywhere in popular culture like toys, trading cards, video games, phones, music, and books. Yet most children disregard laws of biology when they are playing a trading card game like Pokémon. Students will be intrigued to learn that at least 30 fictional Pokémon like Pikachu and Charmander were based on real animals. With research and discussions, students will discover that many real animals are stranger than fiction. This unit will center on increasing students’ science knowledge, interest, and engagement by debunking some basic misconceptions about evolution. Students will play card games to learn how natural and artificial selection work. The ability to articulate and discuss basic scientific concepts at an early age will prepare students to think more critically about our world. In the month of June 2020, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warns us of the troubling “anti-science” beliefs sweeping our nation as we battle the Coronavirus pandemic. We need to teach our children early to “listen to the science.”

Subject:
Biology
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
Provider Set:
Evolutionary Biology
Author:
Lisa (Yuk Kuen) Yau
Date Added:
07/01/2020
Evolutionary History of Mitochondria
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The goal of this unit is therefore to explore the evolutionary history of mitochondria and how they became an essential organelle within eukaryotic cells. A key focus will be on the biochemistry of aerobic, anaerobic, and fermentative metabolic pathways and the effects these differing types of metabolisms have on living organisms and our environment

Subject:
Biology
Life Science
Physical Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
Provider Set:
Evolutionary Biology
Author:
Cristobal Carambo
Date Added:
07/01/2020
Examining the Human Condition Through Paired Poems: The Universal & The Particular
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This unit makes use of poetry and some visual art to engage students in close reading and analytical thinking and writing. District and State standards concerning critical reading and writing and vocabulary acquisition are covered in this unit. Poems of different eras and authors will be read and discussed and written about. The activities and standards in this unit also lend themselves to the teacher and students substituting poems other than the ones highlighted her. As well as reading some well-known poets of the traditional “canon” (Dickinson, Whitman, Niedecker), additional emphasis will be placed on reading poems written by BIPOC (Black, indigenous, people of color) that comment on societal conditions that are routinely faced by these poets and the groups they belong to. Poems by Langston Hughes, Aracelis Girmay, Claude McKay, Ross Gay, Eve Ewing will be paired with poems of earlier eras. Graphic organizers and vocabulary array will be used to help students practice interpreting and analyzing texts. As students learn and practice close reading these poems they will hone their analytical and writing abilities and their ability to write arguments and participate in academic discussions.

Subject:
American Literature
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
Provider Set:
Modern and Contemporary U.S. Poetry
Author:
Kristin R. Luebbert
Date Added:
07/01/2019
Film Techniques and Gender and Race Representation in Film
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There are two units in this curriculum packet to give a full comprehensive introduction into film techniques and gender and race representation in film. The first unit focuses on film techniques such as camera angles, sound, lighting, characterization and mise-en-scene. This is to give the students the appropriate subject knowledge and language to discuss and analyze film. The second part of the curriculum requires students to use their acquired knowledge of film to critically analyze how directors use film techniques to represent gender and race in film and how these representations can perpetuate stereotypes.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
History
Visual Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
Provider Set:
History of Hollywood
Author:
Amanda Fiegel
Date Added:
07/01/2018
Film as a Medium for Teaching the Supporting Characters of the Civil Rights Movement
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The lesson plans included in this unit will provide three extension units for supplemental learning incorporating film to teach the civil rights movement. The premise is to expand the African American civil rights movement as envisioned in the curriculum to include the movements of other minority groups. The lessons are also designed to meet the unique learning needs of English language learners at the high school level. Strategies are given to adapt the material to a diverse high school classroom.

Subject:
Education
Language Education (ESL)
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
Provider Set:
Cinema and Civil Rights
Author:
Frances M. Wilkins
Date Added:
07/01/2020
Forging A Connection: Releasing the Bondage of Internalized Oppression Through Quality Social Studies Instruction
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In this curriculum unit, students will be provided a link to aid their understanding of past enslavement and how it relates to them personally as African American children in Philadelphia. Moreover, this education can aid participants in developing authentic self-pride, African descended identity, and a sociological understanding of slavery and its impact in Philadelphia.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
English Language Arts
History
Literature
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
Provider Set:
New Approaches to the History of Slavery: The View from the Penn and Slavery Project
Author:
Sondra W. Gonzalez
Date Added:
07/01/2020
The Great Gatsby & Media Literacy
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This curriculum is about developing background knowledge and basic media literacy skills with The Great Gatsby as a comparative text. This unit is designed for an 11th grade class, but may be applied to any secondary classroom. The examples and activities featured use The Great Gatsby as a background text, but a different text may be substituted to achieve the same goals. Students will gain historical context and media vocabulary in order to critically analyze film as well as create a basic script and storyboard for their own “film.”

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Career and Technical Education
English Language Arts
Film and Music Production
History
Literature
Visual Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
Provider Set:
History of Hollywood
Author:
David Jennis
Date Added:
07/01/2018
Here I Am: Graphic Novels as Social Equalizers for English Language Learners
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In this curriculum, the focus will be on how English Language teachers can use graphic novels to fuel complex conversations surrounding social justice, identity, representation and culture in the classroom. Differentiation is key for the success of English Language Learners, and the use of graphic novels is one way of making complex concepts accessible. Not only that, the use of graphic novels allows students to explore different genres of fiction, while practicing the use of academic language and grammar in a highly engaging and creative way.

Subject:
Education
Language Education (ESL)
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Teachers Institute of Philadelphia
Provider Set:
The Dark Fantastic: Reading Science Fiction, Fantasy and Comics to Change the World
Author:
Tia D. Larese
Date Added:
07/01/2020