Grade 8 Conformity vs. Individuality

Conformity vs. Individuality
Focus Questions: 
  • How have nonconformists contributed to society?  
  • How can I use my discussion and research skills to help others understand my point of view?
Students watched a YouTube video to form their own definition of conformity.
Changing what you usually do to follow or copy the majority because of pressure to fit in or because of influence.

Next, we read the poem "Identity," by Julio Noboa Polanco to understand what motivates a nonconformist.


After analyzing the poem we read three texts from "Sightlines" that featured:
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Nellie McClung
  • Raoul Wallenberg
Students highlighted 3 things that made the person a successful nonconformist.  Students annotated their highlighting by explaining why they needed the item or by jotting down a trait the item demonstrated.  

Mrs. Anderson modeled how to annotate their texts.


Students listed between 5-7 items and ranked them from most important to least important.  Then they created a recipe and a tagul to present to the class as a means to discuss what makes a nonconformist.


See the instruction sheet below for creating a tagul.  This document is in Google Classroom.



Students helped Mrs. Anderson create a rubric for presenting our Recipes and Taguls to the class.


Students presented their ideas to the class on Monday, March 21.  We discovered our ideas are not as thorough when we present them than when we write about them.

Students set goals for improving CONTENT of presentations.  Some ideas are:
  • Explain by using several examples form the story and own life
  • Using several different sources to find more examples
  • Thinking and explaining ideas by asking others and noting many ideas
Students set goals for improving ORGANIZATION of presentations.  Some ideas are:
  • Introduce in a general way
  • Use images as a way to transition from one idea to the next
  • Explain big ideas and then examples 
  • Sum up with an overall statement about the main idea
See some of our great work below:











Nonconformist Research Project:

Students watched a PowToon video and answered: What is the research process?

  • They noted that some of the stages of the process we were not going to complete this year but will next year.
Six Stages:  Explore, Identify, Gather, Create, Share, Reflect.

We noted what we have done so far:

  • Explored 
- definition of conformity and individuality
- created a recipe to identify traits and motivations of nonconformists
- examined 4 nonconformist from history: Nellie McClung, Nelson Mandella, Raoul Wallenberg, and Andy Warhol


  • Identified Questions to answer
- using the project handout (see below)



















  • Gather through Research 
- As a class we set criteria for Website Credibility:

- We have reviewed structural features to help locate information quickly
- We discussed how to summarize and paraphrase info from a site (using a graphic organizer)

- We are assessing how much info we need to give a thorough informative product


  • Create - identify a list of products 








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