Surviving Repression: Persepolis

Students explore human nature through the story of a young girl coming of age during the Iranian Revolution, and the challenges she faced during this violent, turbulent time.

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ELA

Unit 4

8th Grade

Unit Summary


We continue our year-long study of the relationship between power and human behavior with Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoir about coming of age during the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Satrapi’s simple black-and-white drawings belie the complexities of this award-winning text, which has been translated into many languages and read by millions of adults and teens. In this memoir, the reader gains insight into this significant historical event through young Marji’s eyes, learning about the human impact of political upheaval and the ways that people resist repression in large and small ways.

In addition to reading Persepolis, students will learn about the genre of graphic novels and the ways that cartoons use words and illustrations in tandem to make meaning. Students will complete the unit by reading several essays and articles that address the contentious issue of Muslim women’s headscarves, learning about different ways that this article of clothing has become highly politicized.

In this unit, students will continue to develop their ability to conduct research and create presentations. In the first writing task, students will work on identifying reputable sources, pulling relevant information from those sources, and presenting that information in a way that is clear and compelling to their audience. These presentations will address different aspects of Iranian history, culture, and current events, and are paired with relevant sections of Persepolis. Students will conclude this unit by reflecting and writing on transformative experiences from their own life.

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Texts and Materials


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Core Materials

Supporting Materials

Assessment


This assessment accompanies Unit 4 and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Unit Prep


Intellectual Prep

Unit Launch

To learn more about how to prepare a unit, internalize a lesson, and understand the different components of a Fishtank ELA lesson, visit our Preparing to Teach Fishtank ELA Teacher Tool.

Essential Questions

  • What tools do governments use to control and oppress people, and what tools do people use to resist oppression?
  • In what ways is the experience of growing up universal, and in what ways is it shaped by a person’s setting and circumstances?

Enduring Understandings

  • A country’s government does not necessarily reflect the beliefs and desires of all of its people.
  • The risks of resisting an oppressive government can be severe, and yet some people are willing to lay down their lives in the service of their beliefs.
  • The experiences of growing up during a time of political upheaval are both unique and universal.

Vocabulary

Text-based

belligerent bleak circumspect clandestine compulsory defeatist overt perpetrate repressive secular solidarity tumultuous

Root/Affix

circ- circum-

Academic

author's perspective/point of view author's purpose central idea frame gutter mood narrative box panel speech bubble splash page thought bubble thematic topic theme

To see all the vocabulary for Unit 4, view our 8th Grade Vocabulary Glossary.

Supporting All Students

In order to ensure that all students are able to access the texts and tasks in this unit, it is incredibly important to intellectually prepare to teach the unit prior to launching the unit. Use the intellectual preparation protocol and the Unit Launch to determine which support students will need. To learn more, visit the Supporting all Students teacher tool.

Notes for Teachers

Lesson Map


Common Core Standards


Core Standards

L.8.1
L.8.1.c
L.8.1.d
L.8.4
L.8.4.a
RI.8.2
RI.8.3
RI.8.4
RI.8.5
RI.8.6
RL.8.2
RL.8.3
RL.8.3
RL.8.4
RL.8.5
SL.8.1
SL.8.1.d
SL.8.3
SL.8.4
W.8.2
W.8.2.a
W.8.2.c
W.8.3
W.8.3.b
W.8.3.e
W.8.7
W.8.8

Supporting Standards

L.8.2
L.8.2.a
L.8.2.c
L.8.3
L.8.3.a
L.8.4.b
L.8.6
RI.8.1
RI.8.10
SL.8.1.a
SL.8.1.b
SL.8.1.c
SL.8.2
SL.8.5
SL.8.6
W.8.1
W.8.1.a
W.8.1.b
W.8.2.b
W.8.2.d
W.8.2.e
W.8.2.f
W.8.3.a
W.8.3.c
W.8.3.d
W.8.4
W.8.5
W.8.6
W.8.9
W.8.9.b
W.8.10
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Unit 3

Abusing Power: Animal Farm and Wicked History

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Unit 5

Facing Calamity: Climate Change Facts and Fictions

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