Help me give my students books about race and prejudice for literature circles for the 4th marking period.
This project expired on June 22, 2019.
Hooray! This project is fully funded
Philadelphia is one of the only places where African American History is a required part of the curriculum to graduate. My students, who come from diverse backgrounds, have jumped right in this year. They are inquisitive and actively seek means to flip traditional narratives of race and history on their head.
“Looking at the past must only be a means of understanding more clearly what and who they are so that they can more wisely build the future.” ― Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
It is my job as a social studies teacher to instill this idea in my students, who have enjoyed exploring the historical context which has led us to the many issues of today. These problems are seen both in the media and in their everyday lives. Students have quickly moved from the thought "Well, slavery is over, so that's it, right? We can all be good!" to one of critical thinking of the world around them.
During the 4th quarter, students will become involved in literature circles, a guided research project, and non-fiction text analysis. All of these will surround themes related to contemporary race and prejudice. Literature circles will focus on fiction texts that reflect the themes and problems in contemporary society. This is where the Donor's Choose funding will have a direct impact. In conducting literature circles, the hope is to ignite passion for the subject because students will be able to choose their own book and read at (relatively) their own pace. The hope is also to encourage independence as a link between lower HS and upper HS grade levels. Students will write reflections which will connect fiction text themes to real-life. They will also create higher order thinking questions to encourage critical thinking. The guided research project will ask students to choose a topic (education system, prison system, police brutality, housing, portrayal in entertainment, representation in the news, cultural appropriation) to do a detailed research study on. The paper will include: overview, historical background, contemporary evidence and analysis, relevance, proposed solutions/next steps. It will also be paired with a real world extension activity where students will create a form of media that takes their research outside the black hole of Google Classroom and their teacher's email inbox. Projects will take the form of a documentary, photo essay on social media, or letter writing & petition campaign. Finally, we will have "Food for Thought Friday" which will include more direct instruction and Socratic discussion on contemporary issues (focusing on non-fiction texts - evaluating news media & scholarly articles). We will hone in on the Justice System, Education System, and Entertainment. This has been an ongoing staple of my class throughout the school year.
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