Help me give my students the true story of a fight for justice about which DESMOND TUTU, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, said is ‘what hangs in the balance is nothing less than the soul of a great nation.’
"The test of a good teacher is not how many questions he can ask his pupils that they will answer readily, but how many questions he inspires them to ask him which he finds it hard to answer" --Alice Wellington Rollins
I believe this with all of my heart.
I teach a diverse 9th grade population in a mid-sized area that is growing, as are its incidents of violence. Slightly over 50% of my students are considered to be low income. Some of my students have written about losing someone to violence, having a family member deported, or experiencing injustice firsthand.
Then, there are the students who, when asked to write about a time a social issue affected them, have been lucky enough to feel as though they have nothing to write about. They don't understand the truth behind the struggles of their peers who have grown-up responsibilities and crises. The realities of injustice are alien.
I want my students to be critical readers/thinkers and come to be aware of their ethnocentric viewpoints or their cultural lens and how that affects their beliefs, to learn about and respect cultures that are not their own and question the status quo.
Students will read the books and use text evidence to write an analysis of social justice themes found in this non-fiction novel and a fictional novel touching on a social issue of their choice.
We do not have the funds to purchase these and though I've purchased books out of pocket before, I personally cannot afford to provide the number needed.
Activities will ask students to be critical thinkers and readers who question the world around them, a world that they may not understand yet as teenagers.
In a final project, they will develop a video using rhetoric to bring awareness to, and request specific action for, helping our local community through a service project connected to a local community organization.
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