In this second unit of the module, students apply their background knowledge of the Middle Ages to better understand the literary text Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village. In the first half of the unit, students’ purpose for reading these monologues is twofold. Students read these monologues, told through the voices of children from a medieval village, to identify themes of adversity. They focus on the author’s craft, specifically the use of figurative language and word choice, to better understand how the author conveys these themes. For their mid-unit assessment, students read a new monologue from the book, identify themes of adversity, analyze the use of figurative language, describe how parts of the text contribute to overall meaning, and answer text-dependent questions about the author’s choice of specific words.
In the second half of the unit, students write a literary argument essay in which they address the question: “Do we struggle with the same adversities as the people of Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!?” The task is labeled a literary argument because students compare the adversities described in Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! to the adversities they face in their own lives to answer the question, and use evidence from the novel and their own experiences to support their position. Students use a model text and a series of scaffolding lessons to collect evidence and draft their essay. For their end of unit assessment, students incorporate peer and teacher feedback to submit their best draft of this essay. Unit 3 is officially launched during the end of Unit 2, in order to allow time for teachers to prepare feedback on the literary argument essay.