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Mr. Der Sarkisian’s Classroom Edit display name

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Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta is a beautiful book. It will serve as a means of developing a culturally and LGBTQ inclusive curriculum in the English classroom. It is critically necessary to allow all students to see themselves in literature, to see the experiences and identities and cultures of others, and to create a safe space to discuss, explore, question, and reflect. I want to teach this book under the essential question: What does it mean to be human? It is important to find entry points for all students regardless of sexuality, gender, religion, and culture. Humanity becomes the shared and unifying lens through which to discuss and explore those aspects of identity. Other questions to guide our reading include: What is the difference between a love story and a war story? At what point in life is it appropriate to question and reject parental and cultural and religious beliefs? What happens when one’s true self is suppressed and oppressed? How does one know when he/she/they is/are in love? Does living for oneself equate to freedom? What is/are the pathway(s) to freedom? The top objective is to get young people to think critically about themselves, their beliefs and notions about life, their place in the world, their own humanity, their capacity to empathize, and their own choices. The reading experience becomes a journey of self-discovery.

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Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta is a beautiful book. It will serve as a means of developing a culturally and LGBTQ inclusive curriculum in the English classroom. It is critically necessary to allow all students to see themselves in literature, to see the experiences and identities and cultures of others, and to create a safe space to discuss, explore, question, and reflect. I want to teach this book under the essential question: What does it mean to be human? It is important to find entry points for all students regardless of sexuality, gender, religion, and culture. Humanity becomes the shared and unifying lens through which to discuss and explore those aspects of identity. Other questions to guide our reading include: What is the difference between a love story and a war story? At what point in life is it appropriate to question and reject parental and cultural and religious beliefs? What happens when one’s true self is suppressed and oppressed? How does one know when he/she/they is/are in love? Does living for oneself equate to freedom? What is/are the pathway(s) to freedom? The top objective is to get young people to think critically about themselves, their beliefs and notions about life, their place in the world, their own humanity, their capacity to empathize, and their own choices. The reading experience becomes a journey of self-discovery.

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