The impetus for this unit came from an observation I made of one of my students and his sibling. One afternoon I observed a conversation between two students from my school and an adult who was manning The Dream Booth at an arts festival outside of our school. The adult was trying to persuade the two students to create a picture about their dreams. One of the students responded as she looked up at the sky and stated that she had nothing to draw because she had no dreams. Her brother quickly added on that he also did not have any dreams. At that moment I realized the impact that isolation can have on our inner city minority students and their futures. I questioned how I could help my students make connections to the world around them in order to create dreams which would eventually turn to reachable goals. My goal for this unit is to expose my students to the many communities they belong to now and the communities they can belong to in the future as they attend college. When they look up at the sky I want my students to see the limitless possibilities that lie ahead.
Many children who attend my school live very isolated lives due to poverty. Our school offers consistency and safety in their daily lives. Our students have limited resources and opportunities to interact outside of their neighborhood communities. This unit was designed in order to teach my students the wide variety of communities they already belong. They will also learn how to contribute to a community in order to promote a sense of self-worth and develop confidence as they become aware of their unique qualities. For example, our students have the unique quality of being bilingual. They belong to both an English speaking and a Spanish speaking community which can open many doors for them both socially and academically. As students progress through the unit, they will expand their understanding of the wide variety of communities they are involved with and see themselves as viable citizens and community members.
This unit was also designed to support the English language Learner develop content area vocabulary appropriate for the communities they belong. As students have practice speaking, reading, listening and writing in many settings for a variety of purposes as community members they will develop confidence in taking risks in their learning and in new experiences.