Using a primarily “quasi-bibliotherapeutic” approach, this curriculum unit seeks to afford adolescent middle school students an opportunity to discover and identify with characters, situations and/or literary elements within a narrative framework. By using narrative text, this writer seeks to provide an opportunity for students to discover and critically deliberate the concept of identity and its development. The term “quasi-bibliotherapeutic” is used to insinuate a connection with the reading of literature, generation of self-knowledge, and the crafting of an individual’s own identity narrative. It is not meant to imply that by reading the various texts contained herein a guide to self-discovery has been provided or such renderings will be therapeutic. This unit serves as an exploratory vehicle for the engagement of meaningful and thought provoking conversation with and between students. This unit should also provide fodder for student reflection on the concept of their identity as individuals and their placement within society. This unit may be used to supplement or enrich an existing middle school English language arts or literature curriculum.
Key words: African American, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Latino, identity development, adolescent, short story, narrative, socially conscious music, literature, bibliotherapy
(Developed for English Language Arts, grades 7-8; recommended for English Language Arts, grades 7-9)