More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households
$0 still needed
A Search for One's Self: The Awakening
My students need individual copies of Kate Chopin's masterpiece, The Awakening, as they explore gender roles, examine the power of words, and prepare for the AP Lang test.
Our school is a public college prep charter school that exists specifically to offer high-quality educational opportunities to inner-city students.
My students are the anomalies.
They come from diverse, inner-city backgrounds and have had inconsistent schooling experiences throughout elementary and middle school. Many arrive from settings in which they are expected to fail and with skills that are far below grade level. However, rather than be swept along with the crowd, they choose to attend a rigorous college prep charter school for grades 9-12. In four years, they transform from under-confident, under-performing freshmen to high-achieving seniors ready to succeed in college. Indeed, 98-100% of our senior class graduates and goes on to higher education. By the time they get to my AP English Language class their junior year, they've generally bought into the school's mission and can see their work paying off. Because they can see the value of this education, they are willing to work hard and give it a fair chance. Though the work is long and demanding, they buckle down to get it done, and as a result, they master it.
“At a very early period she had apprehended the instinctively the dual life - that outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions.” - Kate Chopin, The Awakening
High school students sense that they face a critical juncture: they can conform and stay comfortable, or they can wander and explore and find their own identity.
This is the story of The Awakening, in which a young woman living in a restrictive society realizes that she has the same options.
Through this book, we will extend our year-long examination of narrative and identity, focusing specifically on societal values and gender roles. Students will read and discuss a variety of perspectives from other writers (Abigail Adams, Dave Barry, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Clarence Darrow, Joyce Carole Oates, etc.) and work to reconcile those ideas with the arguments presented in The Awakening - and with their own beliefs.
Students will also examine how an author's voice impacts our understanding of a text, and consequently, how our own narration of our lives impacts ourselves and others. This will help students focus on minute details and the power of individual words, and it is excellent practice for the AP Lang exam that many will take in May.
As a culminating assignment, students will create a multi-genre project based on NPR's "This I Believe" dialogue, synthesizing perspectives and beliefs while also arguing their own. They will present these in class with an option to publish them online.
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