English 8

Unit III: Conflict and Unrest

Overview of Unit

This unit focuses on the analysis of the concept of conflict as it exists in fiction and non-fiction. With an emphasis on students developing understandings that surpass the superficial definitions of "internal/external" and "man vs. man or self" conflicts, this unit introduces an array of conflict types and levels found in a variety of texts.


Essential Questions:

  • Is conflict necessary?

  • What is the value in considering multiple perspectives?

  • What is the effect of conflict?

  • What is worth fighting for?



Enduring Understandings:
  • Conflict is an invitation to contemplate a complicated world.

  • Change is driven by conflict.


Reading Selections:

  • Novio Boy by Gary Soto (play)
  • "The Best Parenting Move" (article)
  • "Thank You, M'am" by Langston Hughes (short story)
  • Book Club Options
    • Conch Bearer
    • Mexican White Boy
    • Red Kayak
    • Tangerine
    • Things I've Seen
    • Additional options include: Girls


**This unit will take all of the 4th Six Weeks and part of the 5th Six Weeks to complete.

4th Six Weeks Grades

Assignments in the yellow boxes reflect daily grades, whiles those in the orange boxes reflect major grades. All redos and retakes must be completed by February 12th.

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SSR Reflections

Time spent reading and discussing self-selected books is one of the most important experiences students can have in the school setting. Extensive research shows that this type of reading is engaging and motivating, increases comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary, and – perhaps even more importantly – grows students who find joy in reading.


Students spend 10 minutes a day reading their SSR novels during English class, and they should be reading for at least an additional hour, if not more, over the course of each week.


Each six weeks, students are required to complete one activity from SSR Response options (worth 1 daily grade), which are focused on discussing novels they read during the Six Weeks.


The SSR Response may be completed at any point during the Six Weeks but must be completed by February 12, 2016.

Conflict and Unrest Book Club

Students will have the opportunity to preview their novel choices and select their top three book club choices. Afterwards, they placed into book clubs based upon their reading choices. These groups will then decide how they want divide the book into sections, according to each of the three meeting dates. Each student is responsible for finishing the section by the agreed upon meeting date.


Book Club Meeting # 1 - February 5th

Book Club Meeting # 2 - February 10th

Book Club Meeting # 3 - February 19th


January 26th through February 19th, parents should expect to see their children reading their book club selections at home each evening. All students need to have finished their novels by the time they come to class on February 19th.

Reading Schedule for Novio Boy by Gary Sotto

Day 1: Date: Monday, February 1

Text Preview and Study of Stage Directions



Day 2: Date: Tuesday, February 2

Study of Subtext and Reading Assignment Overview



Day 3: Date: Wednesday, February 3

Text: Scene One, Whole Class Reading


Scene Two, Small Group Reading


Key question: What are the first most obvious conflicts?

Product: Write a 1-2 paragraph response to this question in your writer’s notebook.



Day 4: Date: Monday, February 8

Text: Scene Three, Small Group Reading


Key question: Who are the characters, and how are they different? What are their personal perspectives on the issues they discuss?


Product: Draw a 3-column chart in your writer’s notebook. In the first column, write the name of the character. In the second column, explain that character’s perspective on the issues in the play. In the third column, explain what sorts of conflicts arise from the characters’ perspectives.



Day 5: Date: Tuesday, February 9

Text: Scenes Four and Five, Small Group Reading


Key questions: What changes are we beginning to see in the characters? How are these changes connected to the conflicts the characters are facing?


Product: Write a 1-2 paragraph response to the key questions. (Quiz Grade)



Day 6: Date: Thursday, February 11

Text: Scenes Six and Seven, Small Group Reading


Key questions: Identify the “resolution” for each character’s conflicts.


Product: Create a list of the characters, the conflicts, and the resolutions.

Whole Class Discussion: What themes emerge from this text?



Day 7: Date: Tuesday, February 16

My small group is assigned to work with Scene ________.


In this scene, identify a short 5-7 minute “mini-scene” that represents an important conflict or resolution. Plan to perform the scene using props and demonstrating your understanding of subtext and the role of stage directions.



Day 8: Date: Wednesday, February 17

Practice/work day for performance preparation



Day 9: Date: Monday, February 22

Mini-scene performance day



Day 10: Date: Tuesday, February 23

In-class “Understandings and Reflections” Essay (Test)


Prompt: Write a 2-3 page essay that discusses your overall understandings of the conflicts and resolutions in the play Novio Boy, and reflect on your mini-scene presentation – what was the importance of the scene you selected, what role did you play in the preparation and presentation, what are your understandings about subtext and the importance of stage directions, etc. (You may use your writer’s notebook and your copy of the text.)