Grade 12 ELA Module 1: Unit 1, Lesson 1

Here's a fresh approach to the dreaded college application personal narrative. The Autobiography of Malcolm X is the anchor text for a unit, that through modeling and guided practice exercises, encourages not only the development of close reading and analytical skills, but also uses the text as a model of the structure of the non-fiction narrative required by most college applications. A great addition to your collection of narrative resources.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Because the lessons are cumulative and ask class members to reflect on previous activities, have readers create a notebook dedicated to the work they produce for this 28-lesson unit
  • Have class members compare the first four pages of the book to the opening sequence of Spike Lee's film and consider why Haley and Lee might have chosen to begin their stories in this fashion
Classroom Considerations
  • The lesson, the first of 28 in a unit designed for high school seniors, uses The Autobiography of Malcolm X as a model of narrative writing, and for the personal narrative required by many college applications
  • The unit presumes a protocol has been established for the safe respectful discussion of controversial issues
  • The 33-page packet includes a richly detailed plan, worksheets, a quick-writing prompt, and  grading rubric 
  • None