My students are in a town that was severely impacted by Hurricane Florence. School was cancelled on 9/12 when the storm was impending, and we were unable to return until 11/5. Students lost homes, possessions, and a sense of normalcy and security. Our school lost much of its roof and every single classroom sustained damage; we no longer have a cafeteria or science hallway.
This is not an affluent area, nor is it impoverished; we are in the grey area that often gets overlooked in times of crisis.
These kids are the children of soldiers (we are a mile from a major Marine Corps base), blue collar workers, and civil servants. With many families struggling to pay for home repairs, moving costs, and the replacement of basic necessities, we cannot ask them to donate books and supplies to the school. In order to ensure their continued education, at the level they once had, they need your help.
My students missed 55 days of school because of Hurricane Florence, leaving us with time to read just one major novel - the choice was easy, we have to read 1984. Orwell's dystopian classic has never felt more prophetic, frightening, or relevant as it does right now.
Students will engage with the novel through Socratic seminars, creating digital news magazines, and psychological and sociological analyses.
The unit will have students examining the means of manipulation, civic engagement, paradoxes, and the nature of Truth. The unit is filled with abstract notions and complex ideas that students may not have been asked to contemplate before. Having an actual book in their hands helps them focus when they read, while digital copies often lead to wandering minds and trips to other open tabs.
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