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Units May 10, 2023

Reading as Resistance


Lesson Summary: Students analyze a collection of texts, identifying moments of injustice, resistance, hope and joy and then create self-portraits, celebrating one personal strength that can be used as a form of resistance. Downloads: Unit resources

This unit was created by the Reading as Resistance team as part of the 2022 cohort of The 1619 Project Education Network. It is designed for facilitation across approximately five weeks.


Students will be able to...

  • Define injustice, resistance, hope and  joy
  • Identify examples of injustice, resistance, hope and  joy in a range of unique texts
  • Describe their own strengths and identify how those strengths can be a form of resistance

Unit Overview

In this unit, students will engage in conversations about injustice, resistance, hope and joy by exploring a series of stories about people of color overcoming challenges. Students will explore different types of texts such as picture books, online articles and videos including I am Not a Number, Born on the Water, Separate is Never Equal. The unit culminates in self portrait project that encourages students to identify their core qualities and describe how they show resistance. Throughout this unit, students practice analyzing a range of fiction and nonfiction, listening and speaking skills, research, and writing.

Performance Task

Students will complete a self portrait comprised of text and illustration. After reflecting on themselves, they’ll identify one strength they possess and craft a small paragraph that captures how their personal strength can be a form of resistance. Once they complete their paragraph, students will draw a self-portrait.


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