In a couple weeks, I will begin teaching a course for an alternative remedial program, designed for high school students who credit-wise are only in ninth grade although most of them are old enough to be in twelfth grade. Many of these students have been in the prison system, have truancy issues, or have been in and out of school due to past pregnancies. These students are in the program because they read below 6th grade level. My job is to teach literacy to these students and raise their reading levels. I have no curriculum and have been told that I have complete freedom to create a curriculum myself. According to the coordinator, she will provide any course materials I want. Her only suggestion is that I think about using urban lit. I'm only used to teaching traditional high school English classes and have no idea where to begin. So, any suggestions for texts or potential unit ideas would be greatly appreciated. Please keep in mind that I will be teaching this course during the last quarter of the school year, so I really need something that will keep their attention and is probably project-based. Also, I will be working with less than 10 students per class, so really personalized lessons should work. My ideas so far: I would like to create a unit based around a few essential thematic questions. I'm thinking I'd like to also have the students create a running portfolio throughout the marking period based on those themes, which will be a major part of their final grade. Additionally, I want to make journaling central to our class (dialogue and reading journals). I'd like to use a mix of classic and alternative texts (modern urban lit, song lyrics, etc.). I also think vocabulary development should be a major part of the curriculum.