Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The Classroom on Mango Street
So, I am here, sitting in an empty classroom, taking down posters, stacking grammar books, and yes, pondering how I can be better at my job next year. How can I share the passion for literature, history, philosophy, politics, and world culture that I feel? How can I make the rising generation of tenth grade teens sit up and take notice of all that the realm of English Literature and Language has to offer?
I have a plan.
A good plan.
Want to hear it? Want to make suggestions? Want to help me mold young minds?
~Short Stories from Guy de Maupassant, Katherine Mansfield, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez (learning MLA format, research techniques, and debate tactics)
~Short novel Iron and Silk--about a young Yale graduate going into Communist China to teach English and learn Martial Arts. Along with this is in depth information (including guest speakers and a martial arts demonstration)about Chinese history, politics, government, martial arts, and the world fascination with learning English (with a bit of statistics thrown in for fun!))
~Follow up with the awesome graphic novel American Born Chinese, and take what they have learned about Chinese culture, pair it with American culture to understand the two together, and explore current stereotypes.
~Julius Caesar--discussing power, politics, honesty, democracy, republics, and the importance of the vote. The will be keeping a close eye on the 2008 election, learning and defending their political stance, and discussing major political issues.
~Pair it with philosophical discussion from reading Plato's Republic and Machiavelli's Prince
~Anthem by Ayn Rand--objectivism, capitalism, communism, socialism, individualism verses the collective. Creating a Utopia. Free Trade verses Fair Trade
~Pair with readings from Naomi Klein and Generation Me
~House on Mango Street--explore and celebrate the customs and culture of Latin America, as well as Hispanic influence on America, immigration issues, and the importance of memoirs.
~Pair it with readings from David Sedaris and the Freedom Writers Diary
~The brilliant graphic novel Persepolis--Middle East past and current events (this could take an entire year, yes? How many of today's kids REALLY know what is going on with the war? With the surrounding countries, with the daily lives of those who live in the Middle East, is it only fear they feel? Why does America seem to foster the idea that American blood is more precious than the rest of the world? see past post about this!)
~Selections from Three Cups of Tea, educational systems throughout the world
~Poetry Unit--if time!