Though I never took a class with Peter Smagorinsky, he visited our pre-service teaching cohort at least once. I remember feeling a profound awe and respect for his enormous contributions to the field of ELA Education and UGA’s English Ed program. So, I was delighted, and slightly embarassed for not having found and shared it sooner, Dr. Smagorinsky’s treasure chest and this English teacher’s dream come true:
An unbeatable collection of instructional units …
Written by pre-service and in-service teachers/graduate students in English Education at the University of Georgia, the site contains at least a hundred links to PDFs of whole lesson units grades 7-12 English Language arts classes. Units include a rationale, set of goals, list of major assessments with rubrics, lists of texts used, and daily lessons activities toward unit goals. Just to give a taste of some of the treasures that lie within, some conceptual unit titles include:
- “Identity: Coming to Know One’s Self Through Literature” using S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders as primary text (7th grade)
- “Developing a Speaker’s Voice, Stating Opinions and Making Argumentative Points through Persuasive Writing (8th grade)
- “Looking at our Past and our Present through Our Future: Expanding and Interpreting Texts” using Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 as main text (9th grade)
- “‘On the Edge’: Suspenseful Literature,” using W.W. Jacob’s “The Monkey’s Paw” as main text (10th grade)
- “Gender Roles in American Literature” (11th grade)
- “Narrator Bias with Swift and Chaucer” (12th grade)
So much material I am still wading through, I really don’t know where to begin. But, I knew I better share as soon as possible!
Unit design tool…
In your excited exploration of this site, don’t miss Dr. Smagorinsky’s introduction concerning where his planning design philosophies come from and where he has written about design. He also includes a link to the Instructor’s Guide for his book Teaching English by Design: How to Create and Carry Out Instructional Units. Though a guide, it should give teachers some food for thought, a preview of what you will find in the book, and much inspiration for designing your own units.