My students need a class set of Jim Haskins' "Separate But Not Equal" to learn about school segregation in America.
I came to teaching for a very specific reason: to ensure that all students have access to a high-quality education, no matter what their race or socio-economic status. All kids deserve great educations, and I've found just the book to teach them about this particular social injustice.
My students are remarkable, truly.
In the 1.5 years that I have known them, they have improved their reading levels such that nearly every child reads on grade level now, and several read at much higher levels. This is a testament to their willingness to work hard. This school year alone, they have collectively tallied more than 1800 hours of independent reading. They understand that our school is neither rich nor poor, and that any budget shortfall or resource shortage can be overcome by our diligence. They are empathetic; the insightful comments that they made after tackling Holocaust literature tells me that they are ready to tackle injustice in their own country. Ours is a high-performing Title I school that added middle school grades just four years ago. Consequently, there is a shortage of high-interest texts in the school library. Therefore, I rely on the generosity of benefactors to stock our classroom library.
"Separate But Not Equal" by Jim Haskins is a non-fiction text that educates students about the history of school segregation and desegregation. This text will allow students to practice informational skills such as main idea, summarizing, cause and effect and using text features. The engaging content is sure to improve their reading levels, and they will also receive social studies lessons in the political processes that affected the laws around school segregation. Most importantly, it will expose my students to the injustices of inadequate schooling and discrimination, so that they are prepared to stand against inequality when they see it, and also better appreciate their own educations.
This project is important for all of the obvious academic reasons.
Students will practice reading skills, and also improve their reading levels. Most importantly, however, students will be exposed to an injustice in our country, for I believe that I am not teaching students only to be better readers and writers, but also to be better human beings. I want them to grow into adults who will stand for what is right. This book will be coupled with "To Kill a Mockingbird."
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|Separate, but Not Equal: The Dream and the Struggle James Haskins, Jim Haskins • AKJ BOOKS||$4.26||27||$115.02|
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