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Small Acts of Courage

School: King Middle School

City/State: Portland, ME

Grade(s): 7

Format(s): Book: Nonfiction/Informational

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Social Studies

Type(s): Narrative

Writing Assignment Description

Seventh grade students at King Middle School in Portland, Maine created a set of four books of interviews with unsung local civil rights heroes as part of a learning expedition on civil rights. The project involved 82 students from diverse backgrounds. Their teachers (Social Studies and ELA) had attended the Expeditionary Learning Institute “Civil Rights” in Little Rock, Arkansas the previous summer, and had themselves engaged in meeting and interviewing local heroes of the civil rights movement and created a book to honor them. The teachers replicated, deepened and localized this study and this project with their own students.

How This Writing Can Be Useful

  • The format and layout of this book is very well done – it is a particularly strong model for any class engaged in an interview project
  • Shows tremendous care in the editing and writing of people’s words, providing some exceptional middle school writing models
  • Models how to use factual interview evidence and integrate it into a narrative format to inform an audience

Relevant Resources

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can write narrative texts about real or imagined experiences using relevant details and event sequences that make sense.
  • With support from peers and adults, I can use a writing process to ensure that purpose and audience have been addressed.
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