Coming of Age in a Complex World | Facing History & Ourselves
A high school student shares their thoughts during a school workshop.

Coming of Age in a Complex World

Developed for grades 6–12, this modular collection invites students to explore the complexity of identity and develop a sense of agency as they reflect on what it means to grow up in the world today.




  • English & Language Arts




English — US




Introducing Coming of Age in a Complex World

The resources in this collection help you diversify the range of stories that students read and combine reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills with ethical and empathic reflection.

The collection includes:

  • Back to School Toolkit to help you build community with your students
  • An on-demand webinar featuring Katherine Schulten of the New York Times Learning Network and two winners of the NYT student Coming of Age contest
  • An introductory lesson that explores the concept of “coming of age”
  • Three multi-genre text sets with lesson plans and assessment ideas
  • Unit Guide for teaching Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming
  • Unit Planning Guide to help you design a coming-of-age literature unit for a book of your choosing
  • Book Club Guide with the resources and tools to launch student-centered book clubs
  • Whole School Read Planning Guide

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Inside This Collection

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Facing History & Ourselves is designed for educators who want to help students explore identity, think critically, grow emotionally, act ethically, and participate in civic life. It’s hard work, so we’ve developed some go-to professional learning opportunities to help you along the way.

Most teachers are willing to tackle the difficult topics, but we need the tools.
— Gabriela Calderon-Espinal, Bay Shore, NY