Too often, students view history as a static entity, the result of inexorable, autonomous forces coming to rest at foregone conclusions. But as Portland educator Linda Christensen writes, social justice education demands that we help students understand that “history is not inevitable…there are spaces where it can bend, change, and become more just.”* When students apply a social justice lens to history, they discover the organic nature of change. This leads students to thoughtfully interpret and challenge history-making events happening all around them.
In these lessons, students will delve into a “hidden history” of Portland through the essay “The Farmers of Tanner Creek,” and use it as an entry point for social critique and the exploration of past and present realities of immigration, displacement, gentrification, race, and the American Dream.
*Christensen, Linda. Teaching for Joy and Justice: Re-Imagining the Language Arts Classroom. Rethinking Schools, Ltd., 2009.
Standards met through this curriculum
Learning Outcomes/Essential Questions
- Use textual evidence to analyze immigrant experiences.
- Demonstrate their reading proficiency through a reading assessment or work sample.
- Explore issues of immigration, urban growth, displacement, gentrification, race, place, land, and the American Dream, while demonstrating their ELA and history/social studies skills through discussion and/or writing.
- What are some of the consequences of economic and urban growth, and who is responsible for these consequences?
- Who benefits and who suffers when places change and grow, and why?
- Why is it important to know the history of where we live, and how does this history shape the ways we live in the present?
- What are the obstacles and opportunities that immigrants experience, and how can we best address these obstacles to create more equal opportunities for all?
- What is the American Dream, and how has it evolved from the past to the present? Who has access to it, who doesn’t, and why?
Depth of Knowledge (DOK)
Levels 1, 2, 3, 4
For more information on DOK, see DOK Slide Wheel
Maps of Goose Hollow, past and present
Computer and projector for PowerPoint introduction mini-lecture
Computers/devices with which students may produce and publish their writing (optional)
Reading Scoring Guides
ODE Informational Text Reading Scoring Guide (English)
ODE Informational Text Reading Scoring Guide (Spanish)
ODE Informational Text Reading Scoring Guide in Student Language (English)
ODE Informational Text Reading Scoring Guide in Student Language (Spanish)
Writing Scoring Guides
SBAC Explanatory Writing Scoring Guide
ODE Informative/Explanatory Writing Scoring Guide (English)
ODE Informative/Explanatory Writing Scoring Guide (Spanish)
ODE Writing Scoring Guide in Student Language (English)
ODE Writing Scoring Guide in Student Language (Spanish)
Social Science Scoring Guides
ODE Social Science Scoring Guide (English)
ODE Social Science Scoring Guide (Spanish)
ODE Social Science Scoring Guide (Russian)
ODE Social Science Scoring Guide in Student Language (English)
ODE Social Science Scoring Guide in Student Language (Spanish)
ODE Social Science Scoring Guide in Student Language (Russian)
- Review all resources and decide which components you will include and how many lessons to allot for this curriculum. (Note: Almost every component can be used as a stand-alone piece or combined with other components.) If you choose to conduct a Socratic Seminar, decide which extension materials or other outside materials you will use.
- Read and take notes on “The Farmers of Tanner Creek” essay.
- Prepare your chosen handouts. (If you want to use the reading assessment as an official work sample, you may choose to copy and paste the text of the essay and reading assessment questions into the official work sample template provided.)
- Preview and prepare the Chinese immigration introduction mini-lecture and PowerPoint. Print out the notes for each slide and review them before lecturing. You may choose to include only some of the notes in your lecture.
- Preview and prepare optional extensions.
- Model and instruct students to use the AVID® Marking the Text: Social Studies strategy as they read the article.
- Before reading, number the paragraphs. (A paragraph begins at any break in the text, even if it is not indented.)
- While reading, circle key vocabulary, dates, names, historical events, and important numbers/statistics.
- After reading, go back and re-read sections, underlining evidence, facts, descriptions, and cause-and-effect relationships.
- While reading, pause at various places and model the think-aloud strategy to demonstrate comprehension/summarization of the text.
- Model and instruct students to use the Learn-Read-Discuss strategy.
- Present brief lecture and PowerPoint on Chinese immigrants while students take Cornell or other structured notes.
- Students read article (using teacher’s designated strategies).
- Students engage in small- or large-group discussion, synthesizing information from the lecture and article.
- You may choose to give advanced readers the SOAPS Text Analysis handout for tracking the author’s argument and purpose during their reading. Students’ observations using this strategy can be incorporated into later lesson steps, such as discussion and writing responses.
Tell students that you will be presenting some background information to help them better understand the essay they will read (Listen-Read-Discuss strategy). Ask them to prepare materials to take notes in whatever style you choose (Cornell, outlining, charting, etc.). Pre-teach any note-taking strategies as necessary.
Pause and give students time to answer the warm-up question at the beginning of the presentation. You may choose to have them conduct a think-pair-share before moving into the lecture.
Present the brief lecture and PowerPoint on Chinese Americans to pre-teach some key concepts. Tell students that text on the slides has been deliberately kept to a minimum to encourage them to employ their best listening skills. Guide them to write down the key headings on each slide and listen for supporting details for each heading during the lecture. (Of course, if students need more linguistic scaffolding and support, you may choose to add extra text from the lecture notes to the slides, and/or only lecture on a few details for each heading.)
Pause and give students time to answer the post-lecture questions. You may choose to have them conduct a think-pair-share or closing discussion before moving on to further lesson steps.
- Vocabulary (optional differentiation):
- Frontload vocabulary and concepts from the essay prior to reading. Provide definitions or ask students to look up and record definitions. As an alternative, delay adding definitions until after reading, and ask students to use context to determine preliminary definitions as they read.
- Ask students to identify and circle vocabulary words in the essay as they read.
- After reading, review and clarify vocabulary words, and ask students to write down the sentence from the essay that uses each word.
After reviewing the reading strategy, read the essay with students or ask them to read silently. If reading aloud, pause to review and synthesize information at various points before proceeding, using think-alouds or other strategies. Consider using additional maps of Goose Hollow before, during, and after reading to facilitate comprehension of the concepts.
- Reading assessment:
(Note: If you want to use the reading assessment as an official work sample, you may choose to copy and paste the text of the essay and reading assessment questions into the official work sample template provided.)
Explain to students that they will demonstrate their comprehension of the essay by completing a reading assessment that contains two “Demonstrate Understanding” questions, two “Develop an Interpretation” questions, and two “Analyze Text” questions. You may choose to review the reading scoring guide with them before starting. Tell students whether you will use this as a collaborative practice assessment (completed as a jigsaw or with partners), a formative assessment, or a summative assessment and/or official work sample. It is recommended to allot at least two uninterrupted 50-minute sessions or one 90-minute session for students to complete the assessment. (There are no time limits for work samples, and some students may need multiple sessions to complete the assessment.)
- Poetry assignment (optional extension):
(Note: This assignment can be given before or after the reading assessment and spoken/written post-assessment.)
Explain to students that they will write a poem based on information from the essay. Review the instructions on the poem handout. Optional: Read and discuss the sample poem before giving students time to brainstorm and write (see scaffolded version of assignment).
Help students edit and revise their poems individually or with partners or small groups. Guide them to focus on cutting or changing language in order to create the greatest impact. Ask them to think about the tone of their poems and what feelings they want to communicate to their audience, along with the feelings they want their audience to experience. Host a read-around session, in which students can choose to read their poems in their entirety or only a powerful line or stanza. They can give each other either written or verbal feedback, including only positive comments or one positive comment and one constructive criticism.
- Spoken or written post-assessment:
Decide whether you will use a spoken or written format for this assessment. Review the instructions on the discussion/writing assignment handout, and give students time to review and prepare notes on the essay and any additional texts you might assign or ask them to research.
For a written response, share what scoring guide you will use and give students additional instructions on response length and format. Set up instructional time to include each step of the writing process, including publishing and sharing if you choose, and any additional scaffolds and writing strategies.
For discussion/Socratic Seminar, share the discussion rubric and give students additional instructions on discussion expectations and format. Set up instructional time to include discussion preparation, the discussion itself, and de-briefing after the discussion. You may want to have students turn in their notes for a writing portion of the overall discussion grade.
ELL and SPED Supports: Scaffolded assignment options, vocabulary, reading strategies
TAG Extensions: Optional poetry assignment, “Future: Portland,” “Bitter Harvest,” “A Hidden History,” and “Community in Flux” and “The Sheen of Something Broken” extensions, additional resources and related reading, Socratic Seminar leadership opportunities and outside research
SOAPS text analysis handout to use during reading
Assessment/Student Performance Tasks
- Reading assessment (Can be used as formative or summative)
- Spoken or written post-assessment (Can be used as formative or summative)
Additional Resources/Related Reading
- Oregon Encyclopedia (A Project of the Oregon Historical Society)
- Prince, Tracy J. Portland’s Goose Hollow. Arcadia Publishing, 2011.
- Wong, Marie Rose. Sweet Cakes, Long Journey: The Chinatowns of Portland, Oregon. University of Washington Press, 2004.
“Future: Portland” short films by Ifanyi Bell
“Bitter Harvest” essay and video content
“A Hidden History” essay
“Community in Flux” essay
“The Sheen of Something Broken” essay
“Who Owns Portland?” property ownership map