Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Thomas Giblin


The implementation of the Common Core State Standards, coupled with the usage of pre-scripted lessons, has seemingly widened the achievement gap for African American male students. In a school district such as the Rochester City School District, in Rochester, NY, the graduation rates for this group of students is and has been consistently low. This project was created in an effort to introduce these specific students to an alternative in literacy instruction versus the traditional scripted lesson plans. The Conceptual Unit Plan within this project was constructed to engage adolescent African-American males within an English classroom, aid in their continued literacy learning and development and promote reading for enjoyment throughout the classroom, through the use of a Culturally Relevant Teaching pedagogy. The Conceptual Unit Plan designed, focuses on the theme of “Stereotypes”, and acknowledges and incorporates the lives and backgrounds of the inner-city students within the Greater Rochester region of New York State. While Common Core State Standards are the foundations of each lesson, all forms of text or media used in this unit plan focus on the history of racial tension in the area, life stories of minority men who have grown up in the area, and originate from authors or situations that may mirror the students’ cultural experiences or personal lives in order to give students a sense of ownership and identity in their learning process.