My students attend a large diverse public high school in a big city. We are part of a STEMM (Science Technology Engineering Math Medicine) magnet. English Language Arts is a place where students can explore how the arts intersect with all that science. In our classrooms, they have the opportunity to be surrounded by many different people with unique stories.
My students are intelligent, inquisitive, and enthusiastic about their studies.
They get excited when we use project-based learning to deepen connections between literature, current events, history, and STEMM-related issues. They care deeply about the future they are charged with shaping, and I am continually impressed with how eager they are to learn about ways to improve our world.
In AP Literature, students are often exposed to British and American literature, but other cultures are underrepresented. Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony is the story of Tayo, a Laguna Native American who is a prisoner of war during World War II, and the structure and voice of the novel is a brilliant model to analyze. We need a class set of this book.
By reading about Tayo's struggles to return to the Laguna Pueblo reservation, students will be immersed in Native American stories, wisdom, and ceremony.
He offers a unique view of what it means to serve one's country, suffer terrible hardship in captivity, and then be left with feelings of estrangement upon return. Students will witness Tayo's quest to reconnect to the world he left behind.
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