An English Language Arts teacher prepares to teach a literature unit for middle and high school students.

Coming-of-Age Unit Planning Toolkit

This toolkit provides the framework and classroom resources to help you design and implement a coming-of-age literature unit for middle or high school students using a book of your choosing.


At a Glance



English — US


  • English & Language Arts


  • Culture & Identity


About This Toolkit

The Coming-of-Age Unit Planning Toolkit supports middle and high school ELA and humanities teachers to develop and implement a literature unit for their unique context. 

The toolkit features classroom-ready resources, such as essential questions, journal prompts, and customizable student activities, as well as guidance to help teachers apply Facing History’s approach to their unit design process.  These resources, along with the educator workbook, support the creation of coming-of-age literature units that center students’ identities and experiences as young adults in the world today, while also meeting the specific curriculum objectives and learning outcomes. 

This toolkit is organized into 7 sections, each focused on a different element of the unit planning and implementation process. Within these sections you’ll find: 

  • Resources for engaging in self-reflection before planning your unit 
  • Guidance on purposeful text selection, including 3 videos with Dr. Kimberly Parker, and on addressing racist and dehumanizing language in literature 
  • Facing History learning objectives and learning outcomes 
  • 12 essential questions to choose from that support student inquiry and reflection
  • An adaptable, summative assessment option with a written and oral component
  • 30 journal prompts and ideas for incorporating daily journaling into your classroom 
  • 19 learning experiences with classroom activities and instructional strategies designed to work with a wide range of texts

Inside This Toolkit

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Materials and Downloads

Quick Downloads

Many of the resources used throughout this toolkit are available in Google Doc format. You can access them all in the folder below.  Please note that these resources are designed to be used in conjunction with the framing provided in each section of the toolkit.

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Facing History and 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, do 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