PTI
PTI Curriculum Units Events FAQ Contact Links
IMGALTTAG
IMGALTTAG

Volume I: African American Literature

Linking African American History to Heritage through Great African American Speeches
Marlene Cabiness
Pittsburgh Westinghouse High School


Many great African Americans have had their say about the plight of the African American before, during and after slavery. This unit provides the teacher with resources to any class, English or Social Studies, as a means of linking the past with the present. Students would study great speeches that changed the course of time that involved African Americans. Students would gain knowledge about who they are and why African American heritage is important.


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

African American Literature, Music, and Art in the Great Depression
Ellen Connelly
Pittsburgh Mifflin

This curriculum unit is designed for middle school students and is specifically targeted for seventh grade Communications students. This unit explores African American literature, music, and art during the Great Depression.  The purpose of this unit is to have students discover more about African American writers, musicians, and artists of the period. Students are directed to online and print resources to complete their understanding of these African American art forms. Throughout the course of the unit specific district standards are met in the Communications area.


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

The Power of Their Voices: Renaissance Black Americans
A 7th-grade Communications Unit
Kipp Dawson
Colfax

This unit is designed to replace, or to supplement, the 7th-grade Research/Informative Report unit currently being taught as Unit Three. It maintains the dual purpose of that unit: to introduce and reinforce research and informative writing skills, as students explore an epoch in history which will give them a foundation on which to explore the world of the Logan family in Mildred D. Taylor’s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, the unit which follows.

While the current Unit Three focuses on the Great Depression, this unit turns students to an exploration of and reports on the people, events, and significance of the Harlem Renaissance. Students will discover and make use of an abundance of multi-media resources on this era. In the course of this exploration, they will write an informative report on a person of the Harlem Renaissance. Along with their essays, they each will choose an additional way in which to present their information inspired, it is hoped, by the creativity they have discovered in the era. This unit is designed to be taught in collaboration with Library/Media, Art and Music teachers where such collaboration is possible. It is designed, as well, to be taught in conjunction with Writers Workshop in those schools in which this is a separate class (currently the Accelerated Learning Academies), or with the writing elements integrated into the class for those schools in which this is the practice. Lessons are presented to fit double-period blocks (approximately 90-100 minutes) but could be adapted to different time frames. While the unit is designed for a four-week period, the number and length of lessons can be adapted to meet varying needs.


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the LIBRARY
Carlton Heywood
Westinghouse High School

Almost anyone involved in the education of students K-12 in this country is aware of the academic achievement gap that exists between African American students and the rest of the student population. This separation of academic achievement has been documented and is evidenced by the standardized test scores in schools throughout the country. The tests have demonstrated that the group in most turmoil are African American males.

Though there is evidence that the situation is slowly moving towards closure, the fate of the students that need the most assistance is moving too slowy. By the time a concentrated effort to do something to reverse this trend at least two generations of African American students will be lost.

If nothing else a movement should be pushed to advance reading. Standardized test scores and conversations with students have suggested that too many students read less as they progress into the high school curriculums and there is little being done to turn this phenomena around.


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

American Women’s Literature: Voice, Identity, and Ethnography
Rachael Hittinger
Pittsburgh Student Achievement Center

Throughout this unit students will read, analyze and discuss the female voice in American Literature in the context of the race and gender divide that has shaped the nation. Teachers and students will read a speech by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, an essay by Patricia Collins on who is and can be a black feminist, and a number of short essays by Alice Walker. This unit is an opportunity for students to consider the issues of gender and race equality from different perspectives, and specifically through the writing of females in American society.  This unit has been prepared to complement the 12th grade language arts curriculum.


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

Critical Thinking Through the Use of African American Literature
Stephanie Johnson
Helen S. Faison Arts Academy

Fables can easily be incorporated into a study of African American literature because the oral tradition is part of African American tradition. Historically, African American people spoke in parables to each other. This unit will cultivate my student’s creative thinking by asking questions. The unit is designed to strengthen and cultivate skills in reading and history: comprehension, fluency and vocabulary. Folklore and fables are the focus of the readings. The students will be read a fable and then ask and respond to specific questions using Accountable Talk to solicit higher level, insightful answers. Additional objectives are to foster the enjoyment of echo reading or choral reading as a method for building fluency and learning new vocabulary. The social studies activities will focus on the morals of the stories that reinforce moral values and build character. Students will be guided to apply the morals to their own lives, thereby building a sense of character. This unit also includes the development and use of a timeline for African American authors, directions for researching and creating a personal family tree. The combination of reading and history will make this an exciting unit for my students and others.


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

Slavery Wall Expressions
Elyse L. Karpa
Westinghouse High School

“Slavery Wall Expressions” is a wonderful curriculum unit that depicts portions of the horrific journey of African slaves through the Atlantic Slave Trade to America. It allows the students to listen to recordings of how slave ships were built, and how slaves were stowed. The students will read/research about the types of food stored aboard for consumption, how they were cooked, the types of music and activities the slaves were involved in, and some of the illnesses and diseases that spread throughout the ship’s human cargo. It is somewhat of a recount of historical events that will enable the students to be able to create a wall size portrait of a slave ship, types of foods served on board the ship, and activities/duties performed. There is also an abundance of website information for other wall creations. This unit is educational and fun for the students to put together for others to view on the walls outside the classroom.


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

Is There a Doctor in the House?
Barbara C. Kengor
Pittsburgh Teachers Institute

Is There a Doctor in the House?” is a curriculum unit written for elementary science. The content of the unit deals with the medical contributions of African Americans throughtout our country’s history. The classroom activities contained in the unit are mainly hands-on experiments, based on the scientific method.


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

The Beauty of African-American Culture Through Children’s Literature
Merrie Luna
Pittsburgh Lincoln K-8

The focus of this unit is for third and fourth grade students to appreciate themselves, their families, and their community through the African American experience. This appreciation will develop as African-American children’s literature is shared with them.  After listening and reading several poems and stories, the students will be able to look at the importance of their own self-worth as well as friendship, family, and community assets that have contributed to African-American culture since Africans have been a part of America. 


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

African Folktales: A Middle School Unit
Amy Madigan
Arlington Accelerated Learning Academy

Throughout the study of African Folklore, this unit exposes students to multiple opportunities to examine African literature and to use it as a model for their own narrative writing.  The goal is to have the students analyze and interpret the elements of good literature while reading the folklore,  then use what they have learned from their work to apply it in their own narrative folktales.

This unit is designed to be taught in the 7th grade as a supplement to the Pittsburgh Public Schools Core Curriculum.  However, the unit could also be used at the other middle grade levels as well.  The unit time table is designed for a two week time span in a three block period, which is the design at the Accelerated Learning Academies. However, it may take longer to produce the narrative writing piece if there is not a Writer’s Workshop time built into the schedule. 


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

African American Folktales
Amanda Neidig
Pittsburgh Arlington K-8

This unit is a way for students to look at their culture through the exploration of the genre folklore and the art of storytelling.  The purpose of this unit is to get elementary students interested and knowledgeable about their history.  This unit consists of lessons that can be taught throughout the school year or within a certain time frame.  These lessons are created for a third grade classroom but can be easily adapted for any elementary grade.  They can be used with a self-contained classroom or a departmentalized classroom where reading and writing are the main subject areas.


Click here to view complete unit.

Chatham University
IMGALTTAG
IMGALTTAG
IMGALTTAG Pittsburgh Teachers Institute
Jointly sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University and the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
IMGALTTAG
IMGALTTAG