My students attend an urban dependent charter school in California. Seventy percent of our students receive free and reduced lunch. Sixteen percent of our population is English language learners, and 16.5% of our students receive special education services.
Many students attend our school because they are seeking a smaller high school experience where they won't get lost in the shuffle.
They seek a small, safe, positive culture. Student voice is important and encouraged; students are always a part of the decision-making process. They take great ownership in the school and are often describing it as their second home or family.
For our first unit in American Studies, our 11th graders examine the "American Idea." We begin by examining the vision our Founding Fathers had four our country. We read the Declaration of Independence, Crèvecœur's "Letter From an American Farmer," Emma Lazarus' "The New Colossus," and listen to songs like "This Land is Your Land." We then look at literature that describes less of a hope and more of the day-to-day reality: poetry like "America" by Alan Ginsberg, songs like "America" from West Side Story, and essays like "How to Tame a Wild Tongue."
In order to express their thinking, our students participate in Chalk It Up, a local chalk art festival.
They design visuals of the American Hope vs. the American Reality, using symbols and ideas that they gained from the primary source documents and literature reviewed in class. In doing so, they not only demonstrate their learning but also become involved in their community.
In order to prepare for and participate in this event, each group needs chalk pastels in order for students to both practice their designs at school and re-create their visions at the event itself.
If you donated to this project, you can sign in to leave a comment for Mrs. Baker.
DonorsChoose is the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.
As a teacher-founded nonprofit, we're trusted by thousands of teachers and supporters across the country. This classroom request for funding was created by Mrs. Baker and reviewed by the DonorsChoose team.
DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and you can give any amount to the project that inspires you.