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American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang | Complete Teaching Unit

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang | Complete Teaching Unit

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This complete unit has everything you need to deliver profoundly engaging lessons on Gene Luen Yang's graphic novel, American Born Chinese! The pre-reading handout, discussion questions, image analysis worksheets, vocabulary lists, and analytical writing assignment will challenge your students to dig beneath the surface of the text and generate profound interpretive insights!

This unit will help students understand complex questions about literary and aesthetic form, the experience of social exclusion, and the troubling history of racial stereotypes in American popular media.


Here are some highlights from the 135-page editable curriculum:

 Author Biography: Open this unit by reading and discussing a 3-page biography of Gene Luen Yang. The biography introduces students to Yang's experience growing up as one of the only Asian-American students in predominantly white schools in California. As such, it introduces readers to many of the themes that will emerge in American Born Chinese: the painful experience of social exclusion, the threat of racial stereotypes, the healing power of literature, etc. (3 pages)

 Discussion Question Handouts (x9): Thirty pages of higher-order discussion questions guaranteed to inspire profoundly thoughtful class discussions! This unit features double-sided handouts with 8-10 questions for each of the book's 9 chapters. The discussion questions are the beating heart of these lesson plans. They challenge students to build interpretive arguments that require the support of carefully selected textual evidence — leading to keen interpretive insights! Guaranteed to elicit student engagement and foster profound discussions! (20 pages)

 Discussion Question Answer Keys (x9): The answer keys to the discussion questions are informed by cutting-edge scholarship by literature professors who specialize in the graphic novel and Yang's American Born Chinese. Of course, there is rarely a single "correct" answer for any question; rather, the discussions questions are made up of higher-order questions designed to foster lively exchanges and interpretive debates among students. They challenge students to build interpretive arguments that require the support of carefully selected textual evidence. (40 pages)

 Quick Writes: A "quick write" can be used at any time in a class to get students to pause and reflect on the text in writing. Introduce a quick write before you begin a discussion to allow students to collect their thoughts. Or roll one out toward the end of a discussion to let students capture and refine their best ideas. (9 pages)

 Image Analysis Worksheets (x5): These worksheets challenge students to analyze and compare more than a dozen visually complex panels from American Born Chinese. Students will reflect on how Gene Luen Yang builds meaning by through the use of aesthetic strategies such as visual parallels, verbal puns, inversions, symbolism, etc. Help students figure out what it means to "close read" a graphic novel. Worksheets are provided for chapters 1, 2, 4, 8, and 9. Answer keys included. (18 pages)

 Vocabulary Lists (x9): Lists of 8 vocabulary words for every chapter, complete with definitions and sample sentences with the words as they are used in American Born Chinese. A total of 72 words. (9 pages)

• Reading & Vocabulary Quizzes (x9): Daily quizzes with 6 questions on the reading homework plus another 4 questions on the vocabulary words. If you choose not to have your students study vocabulary, you can still use the portion of the quiz focused on reading comprehension. Grading these quizzes is simple and quick. They’re an easy way to log 9 grades into your gradebook. Answer keys included. (18 pages)

 Analytical Writing Assignment: Challenge students to take their interpretations one step further by writing an analytical paper on Gene Luen Yang's complex graphic novel. Let students choose from one of three thought-provoking sample topics — or invite them to develop a similar topic of their own. Writing schedule, outline template, and rubric included. (7 pages)

This resource packet will come to you in two separate formats: Word docs *and* PDFs. Because the Word docs are fully editable, you'll be able to customize the materials to suit your teaching style and/or your students' skill levels — year after year! If you don't have Microsoft Word, you'll still be able to access all of the materials in PDFs, which are easy to navigate and quick to print!

In case you'd prefer to purchase this product on the TPT website, here's a link that will take you to the product page on TPT.

I'm eager to do anything I can to help ensure that you have an amazing experience with teaching American Born Chinese! If you have any questions along the way, please don't hesitate to get in touch at the email address below. I love hearing from fellow teachers who share a passion for great literature!

Happy teaching!

Adam Jernigan

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