Adolescent Issues Unit Introduction
- Grades: 9–12
- Unit Plan:
To begin the unit on adolescent issues, spark a discussion among students regarding what issues are important to teenagers today. Small groups of students will explore solutions to these issues using the readings as a starting point.
Students will identify what adolescent issues are important in their own lives and understand that there are multiple means of resolving problems.
- One copy of Homeboy to the Rescue (PDF) for each of your lower level readers.
- One copy of Why Weren't You His Friends? (PDF) for each of your on level readers.
- 1-2 Sheets of Chart Paper
- 1 Marker
- Group Discussion Questions (PDF) — 1 handout for each group of three
Set Up and Prepare
Tell students to think about issues in their own lives and/or the lives of friends and relatives. Survey the class regarding issues or problems that teenagers typically experience. Place students into their groups. In each group, assign one facilitator, one recorder, and one reporter. Tell students that they are going to read about some teenagers who went through difficult situations. Explain that students must first read their text and then complete the group discussion questions. Lastly, each group's reporter will share their group's responses with the entire class.
Supporting All Learners
Use two levels of text to meet the reading level of all students.
- Conduct a Socratic Seminar based on another teen issues text such as a recent news story.
- Have students complete a double journal entry based on their group's text.
Students can choose to interview a teenage family member for the interview assignment.
- Have students interview a friend about surviving a tough situation. Students should be sure to ask questions regarding the steps that were taken or could have been taken to successfully survive the situation.
- Give students a written scenario in which a teenager is facing an obstacle (abuse, gang life, sibling rivalry, drug use). Have students come up with at least two ways that the teenager could go about resolving the issue.
Review completed student assignments. Look for an overall understanding of the various issues that adolescents face and the most effective means of resolving those issues.
As group discussions are occurring, circulate the classroom and conduct informal assessments. Be sure that students are able to identify the adolescent issue in each text and that they are able to contribute at least one possible means of resolving that issue to the group discussion.