In literature, one of the most important elements of fiction is the use of conflict. Conflict, in all its forms is a universal concept in any culture society or environment. In order for the students to fully grasp the concept of conflict they will need to know and understand the different kinds of conflict, seen in literature, art and in life. This unit will not only teach the students about the types of conflict that exist, but also build off of prior knowledge gained from making inferences and drawing conclusions, the development and expansion of our nation in the 1800's, and what it means to be an American.
One thing that my students know well is confrontational and difficult situations. As a teacher, building positive and trustworthy relationships is vital to effectively managing classrooms. As I speak to my students in class and throughout the year, they share stories and experiences from their lives that are examples of what conflict is, how it impacts our lives and changes who we are, as well as help shape our character and personality. I will introduce this unit by having the students write down the basic meaning of conflict, and then write 2–3 sentences about the time they were involved or saw a conflict of any kind.
Once the students have shown that they understand the different types of conflict, as evidenced in their exit slips and student work, we will progress into the use of looking at art as a parallel means to understanding conflict in literature. As I stated in my rationale/prospectus, looking at art can generate the same kind of thinking as reading fiction or non–fiction. A large majority of my students test at below reading at grade level, however looking at art is a creative way to reach the same cognitive and learning goals, and master the various aspects of conflict.
The major objective for the student is to be able to look at a piece of art, either visual or in literature and to be able diagnose what kind of conflict is being used. In order for the student to effectively succeed in this unit they will have to be able read for information, make inferences based on their observations and to make connections from the piece of art or text to their own experiences.