Liz Baker

Rachael Bruschi

Jessie Rowland


Grade Level: 10th

Number of students: 24

Silence v. Speaking
Tough Stuff
Teacher Resources
Portfolio Requirements



            Our group chose to do our unit plan on L.H. Anderson’s Speak.  We decided that the main focus of this book was expression, so we chose to focus our lesson plan around three aspects of it.  We first discuss friendships in the book, then Silence versus speaking and we wrap it up with Tough Stuff.   In the beginning of the week, the students will come up with a word that will be their focus throughout the unit. The students will be creating a portfolio over the three week unit plan that will be turned in during the last week.  The portfolio will include reader responses from the book and discussions, a description of the chosen word, a movie review, two poems (one documented and one written), a letter to a fictional person, and a visual image of their chosen word. 


 The first section is about friendship.  We will be focusing on part one of Speak and will be dealing with problems, stereotypes and biases of friendship.  We will be using a variety of activities and texts such as a charades activity, a song writing activity, and poems, cartoons, stories, a survey and an analytical framework all relating to issues of friendship.  Students will turn in response papers, letters, and poems about the issues and will relate them to Speak.  They will also be working on their portfolio by telling us their word in class, and spending time in the computer lab or library to find/write a poem. 

 Our next main section is “Silence verses Speaking.”  This week’s focus is learning the importance of speaking out and not keeping secrets that are harmful to yourself or others. During this week we will talk about parts two and three of the novel.  Then for two days we will be focusing on issues that teens may have to deal with and how they would respond: whether to speak or keep silent.  On Thursday, we will be talking about journals and their therapeutic uses.  Then on Friday, the students will be in the computer lab doing a peer advice post on and be given time to work on their portfolios.

 We finally conclude with tough stuff, discussing the final part of Speak, and reading and listening to various poems.  The students will look at websites and come up with ideas about everyday situations that teenagers have to deal with.  The students will view We Were the Mulvaney’s and analyze and find comparisons between the film and speak.  We wrap up the three week unit plan by having the students express their own voices by presenting their own visual art work.  They will explain why the chose the word they did, and explain the meaning behind their artwork.  The final portfolio will be turned in to show their successful learning experience of expression in Speak.  We chose to add this section in because all of these issues are things that teenagers are dealing with everyday.  They may not be able to talk about things like this outside of the classroom and they should be aware of the commonality of the issues and the help that is available to them. 




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This site was last updated 12/09/04