In this 10th grade English unit, students will explore environmental justice through contemporary issues related to environmental racism. Students will develop a more complex understanding of intersectional environmentalism and of environmental issues in their own community and around the world, especially in examining how environmental racism and settler colonialism have shaped and continue to shape communities today. Through examining literature, nonfiction, poetry, art, and other media, students will broaden their understanding of their environment, explore and evaluate the human decisions that shape their environment, and engage in persuasive writing to impact the structures at work in their communities. Through engaging in the unit, students will challenge the inaccurate and harmful narrative of environmental literature often presented in high school classes as colorblind and removed from discussions of race and racism. Special emphasis will be placed on writers and artists using their craft as 1) resistance to environmental racism, and 2) as a renaissance in environmental literature and art, celebrating the intersection of identity and environment.
(Developed for English 2 and English 2 Honors, grade 10; recommended for English 2, grade 10, and English 3, grade 11)