My students need these awesome and classic titles to continue their exploration on how authors create characters and how they are portrayed (and often marginalized) in their society.
I teach at a rather larger, Chicago Public neighborhood school. Our school has 91% of our students receiving and qualifying free or reduced lunch and an ethnic breakdown of 80%-Hispanic/Latino, 10%- African-American/Black, 6%- Caucasian/White. My students are part of the International Baccalaureate Programme both Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme (DP). My students are special and driven by curiosity. They work daily to challenge their thinking, their peers, their community and think critically about the realities of the world.
My scholars have a passionate desire to learn and succeed.
They embody the traits of caring, reflective, open-minded, principled, risk-takers who seize educational opportunities with both hands!
I am attempting to replenish my copies of these texts. They are classics but super rich in themes and help students to engage in deeper questionings about how characters are portrayed within their time period.
Although these books fall into the "dead white guy" cannon of literature, they help to evoke strong discussions about gender, religion, family dynamics, and justice.
All things that I feel are still very much so contemporary today. There is nothing more gratifying than sitting back and watching a class of scholars get into a heated debate if Medea's vengeance is justified and questioning if it matters that the role of Medea would have originally been played by a man impacts how it was written. Or discussing how The Merchant of Venice flips the villain trope and idea of a damsel in distress. Or questioning if love is enough to defy your parents or risk being locked up in a nunnery. If it isn't connecting to kiddos and sparking some heated debate, I'm not doing my job and we are not having fun.
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