KQED Perspectives connects student voices to the community.
Get started with our classroom toolkit where you’ll find:
- Models of youth-written Perspectives that have been on the air
- A graphic organizer to help students analyze youth-written Perspectives
- Submission guidelines and tips for Bay Area and Sacramento teachers
Take a deeper dive into Perspective unit planning with this 11-lesson sample unit from San Francisco teacher Ruth Corley, who incorporated Perspectives into a unit on the five-paragraph essay. She has shared lesson plans from her curriculum in hopes that other teachers will give students the opportunity to participate in the Perspectives series. Below you will find Corley's unit on writing and recording Perspectives, a how-to video and information about KQED's other resources for educators
All too often students are asked to write essays solely for the purpose of writing an essay, usually an arduous and formulaic process with little joy or creativity. Young people come to see writing as a task that is done for the teacher, or for a grade. Only when writing about a meaningful topic for an authentic audience does writing have power. As a teacher, I want my sixth graders to experience the impact their writing can have, on themselves, their peers, and their community. With this goal in mind, I asked them to each write a KQED Perspective.
In the next few paragraphs, I outline the curriculum for our unit. Lesson summaries are attached as PDFs, including essay and peer conferencing rubrics. Feel free to adapt these to suit your needs and style.
Writing Perspectives transformed my class. They explored challenging personal topics, formed connections with each other, and came to see themselves as writers who can make a difference in the world. As one student wrote, "Perspectives are like getting to share a piece of your soul with the outside world." Enjoy the process. You will be amazed with the results.