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Lesson Title: Cultural Adaptation Lesson # Date:

Name: Aaron Livingstone Subject ELA Grade(s): 10/11/12

From genre, we now move to cultural adaptation. This aspect of the unit subject is as crucial as it is timely, since
immigration is a global trend that will continue to increase with along with the porosity of borders, and political
and climatic instability. It is of the utmost importance that the citizens of a country and a community are able to
empathize with new comers from around the world. With this positive social outcome as a goal, the lesson works
through the creation of a character through interaction with objects imbued with meaning. To bring closure to the
lesson, students are asked to compare their cognitive states as they analyze different aspects of adaptation, with
the aim of informing thematic identification between subjects.
This lesson would ideally be timed to coincide with or follow social studies in immigration experience.

Curriculum Connections

Big Ideas
The exploration of text and story deepens our understanding of diverse, complex ideas about identity, others, and
the world.

Curricular Competency
Apply appropriate strategies in a variety of contexts to comprehend written, oral, visual, and multimodal texts, to
guide inquiry, and to extend thinking

Students are expected to know the following:
writing processes
metacognitive strategies

Core Competency
creative thinking: students are tasked with the creation of a fictional immigrant from various items, and then must
suggest strategies this immigrant could use in adapting to life in Canada.
Personal and social responsibility: students learn to develop a complete picture of an immigrant instead of the flat
or one-dimensional image which they are sometimes exposed to.

Learning Intentions Activity Assessment

Students learn to think and write 3 beginning free writes Completion
from a different perspective through
hypothetical scenarios

class construction of an immigrant Sharing with the class

Students create stories based on story based on essential objects

Students are shown a strategy for

building character, and with it, acculturation discussion Class discussion

Students examine their thought final Free write completion

processes and biases regarding the
subject matter so far

Prerequisite Concepts and Skill

Materials and Resources with References/Sources

For Teacher For Students

Essentials bag Pens/paper
This is a bag of objects that can stand in as examples of
culturally or personally significant items. They could be
photographs, pendants/jewelry, scraps of paper/receipts,
various memorabilia from childhood. The teacher collects
these items beforehand. They should be vague enough for a
range of interpretations.

Two different-coloured markers

Differentiated Instruction (DI)

Migrant or diasporic literature, both fiction and non-fiction, would work very well in this class. Immigration is a rich
subject worthy of its own unit, and the time spent on it could be doubled or trebled to allow for textual analysis, as
long as adaptation is kept in our mental crosshairs. Further facilitation could focus on our social obligations
toward immigrants, and what we could all do to make adaptation easier, which extends into the core competency
of social awareness and responsibililty.
The free write questions are not as open as they could be. The teacher can add to them to enrich or direct the
emphasis in a certain way, such as daily life, or community involvement.

Organizational/Management Strategies
This lesson involves a lot of class discussion and it is important that a small number of the students do not
become creative dictators for the rest of the class. The group reporting should mitigate this.
Group formation is at the discretion of the teacher.

Lesson Activities

Teacher Activities Student Activities pacing

Introduction Introduction
check in: were you given enough time to work
on your story boards/screen plays yesterday?
(dont stress: make up time is built into the
Free write #1: what would it take to make you
These free writes should ideally be revealed leave the country? 5
one at a time to mirror the mostly fractured
decision matrix that immigrants are faced with. Free write #2: Where would you go, and
Free write #3: If you couldnt bring
ANYTHING with you (family, belongings,
degree/accreditation), what strategies would
you employ, and what measures would you
take, to make yourself feel at home and
Collect free writes. Explain that we will only
touch on immigration, that it is worthy of a unit
in its own right, and that at the end of class
teacher will ask whether students want to
explore the subject further.
Body Body
Take out the essentials bag. (there should be
enough items in the bag that each group gets Form groups of x. Each group is given one or
one, preferably two, more is fine) more items from the essentials bag.
This is the bag of objects that [insert name]
took with him/here from [fictitious pacific
island] when he/she immigrated to Canada.
(personalize the character but try not to
activate any prior knowledge/associations the Discuss/take notes on the objects: what
students might have). would their significance have been to [insert
name]? Make up stories/memories, places,
people (uncle, teacher, religious leader,
friend) which explain the objects. The more
detailed/imaginative, the better. 10-20

Report back to the class about the

significance of these objects. 10

Teacher is deriving habits and lifestyle from

the stories, asking for clarification, and
generally fleshing out the daily life of [insert
name] by making notes on the board. Fill in
any gaps (work? Family? recreation?)

[insert name] has now immigrated to B.C.,

Canada: how has their life changed?

scribe for the class, using a different-coloured Students are using the lifestyle notes on the
marker board to construct a new way of life that 15
works in BC.

Free write: thinking about our thinking. Are

we using the same part of our brain to
analyze media adaptation as we are to
analyze immigration adaptation (ie.
Why or why not? What would you call this 10
part (or these parts) of your brain if you had
to name them?
What biases/knowledge gaps are influencing
our formation of an immigrant character?

Finally, do we want to learn more about

immigration experiences and acculturation in
other lessons? (Perhaps an anonymous poll) 5

Important note: all written work in this unit
should be collected and saved. It will be
handed back near the end of the unit to
help students prepare for the unit exam.

Cross Curricular opportunities:

definite social studies connection. The more prior exposure students have to immigration issues/experiences,
the richer will be their responses and contributions to group discussions.