As a teacher in a new charter school, I have been made increasingly aware of the misguided representation of the student population. The stereotype is that these students are from well off families looking for a smaller setting.
While that might be true for some, the majority of our students sit at, or below the poverty line.
In my middle school classes alone, 56% are free or reduced-price lunches. Our data indicates huge gaps from multiple subject areas spanning several grade levels.
I have the privilege of working with some of the most courageous, inventive, and optimistic group of teenagers I have seen in twelve years of teaching. This kaleidoscope of learning styles leaves me breathless, to say the least, and encourages me to find other avenues to increase their knowledge of Social Studies through literature study.
I will be working very closely this year with our school's middle school social studies teachers through reading. I have chosen this particular novel set to teach my eighth grade students to show the the social and emotional issues that all teenagers have endured. It is a high interest topic and really brings home the high standards for teenagers in the 1950s.
Books, are in essence, a student's own personal magic.
They can choose to engage in a different reality. Using books that span time and place across curriculum, students will have a greater understanding of history, culture, and themselves.
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