In this unit I plan to give my students a chance to know their neighborhood better, and to feel a sense of ownership and responsibility towards it. To do this I plan to have three areas in which we will focus.
Part one will focus on Poetry about Place. In this part of the unit the students will be exposed to various poems about place, as well as be creating their own. This will help them to express how they feel about where they live, be able to describe it through the senses. I also hope that it will help them to express what it is that they would change about these places and what they would preserve.
Part two will be a section in which we map places that are familiar to us, and then begin to navigate new areas within our neighborhood and incorporate those into our maps. This process will help me to have a better understanding of how the students perceive their community and what parts of it they are familiar with. Through this exercise I hope to create a sense of commonality of place among my students, as well as a new familiarity with their neighborhood.
Part three will be a community project in which we will hopefully work in cooperation with another organization active within the community to display our poems and maps in the public arena. I want the students through this type of activity to not only celebrate their accomplishments within the unit, but to also to see that their voice can be heard within their community. I want them to get a glimpse of how they can be a proactive member of the neighborhood. I also look forward to not only having my students become comfortable and familiar with a new place within the community but to giving the people within that place a chance to know them.