ALEX Lesson Plan


I Am Not My Hair:  A Lesson in Self-Image

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Shannon Bogert
System: Tuscaloosa City
School: Tuscaloosa City Board Of Education
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33175


I Am Not My Hair:  A Lesson in Self-Image


Featuring the India.Arie song "I Am Not My Hair," this lesson takes students through the pre-writing, production, and editing phases of an informative essay.

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
ELA2015 (7)
21. Write informative or explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content. [W.7.2]
a. Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison or contrast, and cause and effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. [W.7.2a]
b. Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples. [W.7.2b]
c. Use appropriate transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts. [W.7.2c]
d. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic. [W.7.2d]
e. Establish and maintain a formal style. [W.7.2e]
f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented. [W.7.2f]
ELA2015 (7)
23. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 20-22 above.) [W.7.4]
ELA2015 (7)
24. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of the first three standards in the Language strand in Grades K-7.) [W.7.5]
ELA2015 (7)
36. Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. [L.7.1]
a. Demonstrate knowledge of subject-verb agreement when interrupted by a prepositional phrase, with inverted word order, with indefinite pronouns as subjects, compound subjects joined by correlative and coordinating conjunctions, and collective nouns when verb form depends on the rest of the sentence. (Alabama)
b. Explain the function of phrases and clauses in general and their function in specific sentences. [L.7.1a]
c. Choose among simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences to signal differing relationships among ideas. [L.7.1b]
d. Place phrases and clauses within a sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers.* [L.7.1c]
ELA2015 (7)
37. Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. [L.7.2]
a. Use a comma to separate coordinate adjectives (e.g., It was a fascinating, enjoyable movie but not He wore an old[,] green shirt). [L.7.2a]
b. Spell correctly. [L.7.2b]
ELA2015 (7)
38. Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening. [L.7.3]
a. Choose language that expresses ideas precisely and concisely, recognizing and eliminating wordiness and redundancy.* [L.7.3a]

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

1.  I can complete a cause and effect multi-flow map in which I analyze and identify the causes and effects of poor self-images.  

2.  I can plan, write, and peer edit an informative essay.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

91 to 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Technology Resources Needed:

Multi-flow map, computer


Students should have a basic understanding of a five paragraph essay.


Part One:

Before Activity:  

1.  As students listen to the song "I Am Not My Hair," they will make personal connections to the song (text to text, text to world or text to self).  

2.  After listening, they will briefly write down the connections that they made to the text.  

3.  Students should turn to a partner and share the connections that they made to the text.

4.  The teacher should call on students to share the connections that they made to the text.

During Activity:  

1.  The teacher will guide students to read the chunked text.  (Each stanza is a chunk.)  

2.  After reading each chunk silently, students will independently write a one sentence summary of the stanza.  The teacher will then give students about two minutes to turn and share their summary with their partner.  Before moving to the next chunk of text, the teacher will ask students to share out the summary statement to make certain that an accurate summary is given.

After Activity:  The teacher will direct each student to a multi-flow map. Students will complete the maps by analyzing and identifying the causes and effects of poor self-images.


Part Two:

Before Activity:  Using their multi-flow maps from the day before, students will write a five paragraph informative essay in which they identify the causes and effects of a poor self-image.

During Activity:  Using the writing rubric, students will first self score their essays and then peer score essays.

After Activity:  Using the results from the two scoring sessions, students will produce a final copy of their informative essay.

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Assessment Strategies

The student multi-flow maps will be assessed as the teacher walks the room, checking maps for content.  The informative writing scoring rubric will be used for the scoring of the essays.




Students needing extra assistance may need to complete a planning tree map (found on Makes Sense Strategies app).  They may need assistance from the teacher in planning for and completing the map.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.