The Alchemist: Please Help an English Class with No Books
My students need 85 copies of "The Alchemist" by Paolo Coelho.
At 56%, the previous school my students come from has the second highest dropout rate in the Los Angeles Unified School District, and with over 5,500 students at one point, was one of the largest schools in the country. Our new school was thus built and opened this fall to fix these issues, but I fear that they will become even worse unless we provide resources and support to teachers and students.
As crazy as it sounds, not enough book titles and quantities were ordered for me to teach novels to my English classes. While just getting to college is a struggle for inner-city students, being able to keep up with the needed skills once there is an even larger problem. I am trying to prepare my seniors for college, but was only now told I don't have enough books to teach my world literature class. My students have worked so hard to get this far, and I am trying to do whatever I can to make sure I can give them a quality education.
Using Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho's work The Alchemist and the film Blood Diamond as a basis, our unit will center on themes of goals and methods of achievement. We will explore what it means to have treasure, what it costs to attain it, and how the idea of treasure is context dependent. Students will examine the comparisons between novel and film, including the sacrifices characters must make and the obstacles they must overcome in a backdrop of African conflict. Students will progress through learning activities with both formative and summative assessments to measure progress in literacy skill building. Culminating tasks include a comparative essay and a community project to identify community goals and methods for achievement to find "treasures."
Please, Please support our students and their right to a quality education that includes reading books in English class. My students and I are so grateful for your help and consideration. Thank you.
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