Engaging, Complex Texts to Support Human Rights Education
Help me give my students a variety of engaging and complex texts to support an Early College Experience Human Rights course, while increasing class participation and student achievement.
Hooray! This project is fully funded
Hooray! This project is fully funded
BHS is unique in that over 90% are from minority backgrounds. As of 2013, BHS was identified as an underperforming school district. Over the past 5 years, we have made great strides academically due in part to the integration of literacy in every classroom. As such, we are continually striving to enrich our content and curriculum through the addition of high interest, complex texts, which students can engage with and read independently, while also adding to the richness of the course.
Our students are high energy and eager to absorb new information.
However, they are often tardy, act out in class, and are generally disengaged in the classroom, due in part to the increased rigor. For many of our students, participation in class is deterred by the behavior of others and various social distractions. A general culture that devalues academic success has led to a lack of motivation to attend and participate in classes. Students often prefer to look at their cell phones than take part in class activities and discussion or read the assigned texts.
Many of our students have roots in Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean islands. They and their families have experienced civil and human rights violations in their lives and will truly benefit from the opportunity to discuss, research, analyze, and take action on such issues. As such, we are beginning an Early College Experience Human Rights course next year through the University of Connecticut. This course will not only provide our students with the opportunity to engage in meaningful instruction and advocacy, but also support and enhance the vision our school and district hold for their growth and success by experiencing a high-rigor, college-level course.
In order to most effectively examine contemporary and historical issues of human rights, students need a variety of complex, yet engaging texts.
The texts selected are a combination of various genres and mediums including biographies, collections of speeches and poetry, young-adult fiction, and graphic novels. Together, these texts will highlight the history of human rights and contemporary human rights issues, as well as provide students with first-hand accounts of human rights violations both foreign and domestic.
Additionally, the course has been designed as a student-centric, inquiry-based program that promotes critical thinking and will lead to students taking ownership over their learning. It is my goal to support and enhance this rigorous instruction with engaging, high-interest texts in order to provide the most beneficial and long-lasting instruction possible for my students. On the classroom level, high student engagement will decrease attendance issues and classroom distractions, while increasing participation and work competition. Ultimately, human rights education will not only benefit the college and career readiness of students, but create critically literate and active citizens in an increasingly globally connected society.
If you donated to this project, you can sign in to leave a comment for Mr. Siegel.
DonorsChoose is the #1 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 Mr. Siegel 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.