Jessica Wier



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Jessica Wier, HON400: All College Honors Colloquium
Faculty Mentor(s): Professor Pixita del Prado Hill, Elementary Education, Literacy, and Educational Leadership

While mental health is beginning to be addressed in schools, it is still seen as a taboo topic. As a future English teacher, I want to highlight the importance of mental health discussion and services through the use of literature, especially following the pandemic which has influenced the mental health of many adolescents. Many schools have implemented the New York State Social Emotional Learning Standards (SEL) into their classrooms and have seen positive results. To emphasize the importance of mental health in our classrooms, I will be creating a unit plan focusing on the book, "History Is All You Left Me," by Adam Silvera. This novel's main character suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and anxiety, which is discussed throughout the book. Through this Unit, I will be following the grades 11-12 English Next Generation Learning Standards as well as the corresponding SEL standards. This two-week unit will utilize a concept-based curriculum backward design model (Wiggens & McTighe, 2005). The students will keep a journal each day as they read, beginning with a Double Entry Journal (Berthoff, 1981) and then transitioning into their own journal to serve as an ongoing assessment, exploring the mental health issues raised by the book. Upon completion of the novel, the students would be expected to self-assess their understanding and reflect on what they have learned. Moving into a summative assessment, they would conduct a project which demonstrates their understanding of the reading, as well as outside information regarding mental health.

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Incorporating Mental Health into the English Classroom
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