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Social Issues Book Clubs, Grades 6–8: Virtual Teaching Resources Subscription, 2021-22

By Lucy Calkins, Teachers College Reading & Writing Project

The topic of social issues, the lens for reading in this virtual unit, is a topic that matters greatly to the young human beings who enter our classrooms every day. In middle school, many kinds of issues start to weigh more heavily on students: relationships, school issues, and a growing awareness of larger societal pressures. A driving force in this unit is the power of reading to transform how we see others.

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Virtual Teaching Resources

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About the Units of Study Virtual Teaching Resources, 2021-22 Subscriptions

Because so many of you in the Units of Study community requested ongoing access to the Units of Study Virtual Teaching Resources from the 2020-21 school year—especially as models for the most effective ways to teach minilessons—Lucy Calkins and her Teachers College Reading and Writing Project colleagues have adapted those virtual modules to align with their 2021-22 Suggested Sequence and have also identified some specific additional resources that will be especially helpful as you return to in-person teaching and learning this fall. These Virtual Teaching Resources are designed for student use in any classes that remain virtual as well as for teacher PD.

About this Unit

The topic of social issues, the lens for reading in this unit, is a topic that matters greatly to the young human beings who enter our classrooms every day. In middle school, many kinds of issues start to weigh more heavily on students: relationship issues, school issues, and a growing awareness of larger societal pressures. There can be serious consequences to the spiraling troubles that surround middle school kids.

A recent Washington Post article titled “Does Reading Make You a Better Person?” concludes that the answer to the title question is “Yes!” Reading literature especially has proven to increase people’s ability to empathize with others, and to be more socially aware. A driving force in this unit is the power of reading to transform how we see others and to show us new ways to be kind, to connect, and to stand up for what’s right.

Units included in each UOS Virtual Teaching Resources Subscription were chosen based on the TCRWP 2021–22 Suggested Sequence.

Please Note: The units in the 2021–22 UOS VTR do not specifically align to the units in the print sets of Units of Study. In addition, not all units referenced in the Suggested Sequence are included in the 2021–22 UOS VTR. Please see the chart on pages 5–7 of the Overview Brochure for a complete list of units included in each grade-level subscription. For a complete list of the trade books needed for each subscription, please see the Trade Book List.

For more information about the Units of Study Virtual Teaching Resources, visit UnitsofStudy.com/VirtualTeaching.

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