We are one classroom in a K-8, Dual Immersion Program school with over 1,000 students. Though our population is majority Latino, our school is diverse, with several races and ethnicities represented, from Irish-American to Filipino to Syrian-Americans. We are JSS, "The school where everyone cares!"
It is our diversity that makes us special.
We have the ability, as a school and, more specifically, as a class, to discuss so many different topics from a wide range of perspectives! Once given the chance, our 5th graders have such amazing and eloquent opinions that open even adult's minds. Whether it's discussing the types of service animals that should be allowed in public or debating whether European explorers were exploring or exploiting, we can get deep into a plethora of topics with such zeal!
The books in this project are a part of a larger English Language Arts/Social Studies/Social Justice unit. My partner teacher and I plan on using this novel to spark a larger debate (in Spanish and English) on topics such as social justice, immigration, law, and social change. This title, written from the perspective of a 5th grade student, introduces all of these topics to the students in a way in which they can relate to and be engaged with.
We hope that the topics introduced in Return to Sender spark in our students the desire to instigate change.
The analysis of the topics addressed in Julia ALvarez' novel will be used as a springboard for a larger platform in which our students themselves will become the leaders for change that they see a need for in our school and community.
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