My students need six copies of six novels that share a theme of prejudice.
Modern day Malawi. Medieval Korea. 1950's Georgia. It doesn't matter the time or place: prejudice is a universal element in literature. Seventh graders in my inner city elementary school are especially intrigued by this theme that spans the generations and crosses the world over.
Rich versus poor in rural Oklahoma of the 1950's; Japanese-Americans experiencing racism in the South following World War Two; a Korean boy poor and alone in medieval Korea; a young girl is orphaned when it is discovered she has AIDs in Malawi; an Indian woman rebels against an arranged marriage; prejudice prevails in a small working class American town. These are just the briefest introductions to the novels I believe would benefit my students, but are currently not available to our literature discussion groups due to lack of resources.
After I experienced the lively discussions our class held on the topic of racism, I began researching books that would not only make a difficult topic accessible to my students, but also allow them to travel back in time and across the continents without leaving their classroom. I have designed a system for student groups to rotate through the books, meeting regularly to hold discussions and complete creative projects that incorporate the visual and dramatic arts, as these special programs are also not funded currently in our school.
By supporting this project, you will make it possible for our youth to open their minds to a variety of solutions to a problem that will unfortunately continue to prevail throughout the world. Thank you!
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