UfB — Units for Books: Information About the Mini-Grant



The Units for Books (UfB) Program at Center for College Access and Success at NEIU is a way to earn class sets of young adult books for your classroom. Teachers participating in the GEAR UP program are eligible to apply for a "mini-grant" to develop a standards-based thematic unit that features great young adult literature and receive a class set of the books so you can implement the unit with your students.


Units that have been developed by presenters at YAL (Young Adult Literature) Conference, and units that teachers have created for the UfB program can be viewed by clicking the link below.

View Units for Books and YAL presenter units

Want to learn more about Units for Books? Check out the links below to find out more about the program.

How does Units for Books work?

Who is eligible to participate?

What must my unit plan include? What documents do I need to fill out?

What resources are available for me?

How do I document my unit?

How can I share my work with colleagues?

How does it work?

Select a book (or a set of literature circle books) and get it approved by a GEAR UP professional development specialist. Then write a unit plan. Submit your unit for approval and we will purchase the books you need. You implement the unit in your classroom and provide documentation to GEAR UP.


When we receive your unit plan we will order your books. Please allow 3 to 4 weeks for delivery.

Who is eligible to participate?

Teachers from GEAR UP high schools and certain Center for College Access and Success partner schools are eligible.

What must my unit plan include?

Units for Books Submission Guidelines- Use this document for the submission guidelines.


Units for Books Checklist - Use this checklist to make sure you have everything you need to apply for and complete your Units for Books application and unit.


Units for Books Application and Planning Template - Use this template to apply for and write out your unit plan.


Units for Books Reflection Page - Use this document to reflect on your unit after it is completed with your class.

Unit Overview - Use a calendar or schedule to reveal how your unit will be delivered to students over 15 class sessions.

One-Day Lesson Plan - Use a lesson plan format of your choice. Your lesson plan should demonstrate interactive teaching and learning and include Illinois State Learning Standards and CPS literacy components.

Signed Match Form - Help us meet federal requirements for matching funds by documenting your unpaid work time spent developing your unit. GEAR UP staff will be happy to provide you with assistance in filling out this form.

What resources are available for me?

Teacher Units - Look at units written by other teachers on our Units Showcase page.


GEAR UP Specialists - Talk with the GEAR UP PD specialist at your school or another teacher who has completed a unit. Not sure who that is? Contact Chris Johnson at c-johnson15@neiu.edu for information.


Support Sessions - Attend a Support Session after the conference and earn more CPDUs. For more information contact your school’s GEAR UP PD specialist or email Chris Johnson at c-johnson15@neiu.edu.

How do I document my unit?

As you implement your unit we ask that you document the work and include the Teacher Reflection Page.


Teacher Reflection Page - Please reflect on your unit: what worked; what you learned; what you’ll change next time.

Student Assessments - Submit 3-4 student self-assessments or samples of student work.

Digital Media - (Optional) Submit digital photos and/or video along with an explanation of the content. Student media releases are mandatory. A GEAR UP staff member may be able to help with documentation.

How can I share my work with colleagues?

Units Showcase - With your permission, outstanding units will be posted on our website for other teachers to browse and adapt.


Units Presentations - Teachers who write outstanding units may be invited to present their work at YAL.