Triumphs and Challenges - from History to the Present
Help me give my students a class novel to read together and "A Young People's History of the United States", a history book that includes multiple viewpoints, including those from workers, immigrants, women, slaves, and Native Americans.
This school year, I will be teaching humanities to a group of 7th graders and a group of 8th graders. They are the leaders of our school and I affectionately refer to the 7th and 8th graders as our catalysts and trailblazers, respectively. They are a tech savvy, outspoken group of students who continually ask for new learning and increased autonomy.
As future leaders in our society, I want them to be equipped with a sense of civic responsibility as they grow, learn, and become resilient to the numerous negative life experiences that they face.
There are so many opportunities for this academically and linguistically diverse group of students to collaborate and learn with and from one another.
How do you know where you are going if you do not know from whence you came? I want my students to know the history of our country as well as learn about the lived experiences of the diverse people in it. We live in the present and strive for a better life in the future, but many of us are missing the background or history of why things are the way that they are. It is hard to move forward successfully without knowing. Unfortunately, history is a subject often overlooked in school curriculums even though it is a foundation of our functioning society. In addition to strengthening my students’ reading and writing skills, I want to use this student-friendly history book to inspire their thirst for learning new things and for a better understanding of our society. The second item is a novel about a girl who has trouble with ordinary middle school experiences as she comes to terms with her mother being incarcerated. My students face similar challenges and need to see an example where a main character becomes resilient and is able to function successfully in school and in relationships with others. We will have an opportunity for rich discussions while reading this novel as a class.
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