Even in this short week, I have a great quote from one of my students.
I enjoy having a "thread" or common theme/idea run through a unit of study. Before delving into Shakespeare's Othello, we do a study about race and religion. We read some poems, "Incident" by Countee Cullen, "Cross" by Langston Hughes. Move on to the short story "Recitatif" by Toni Morrison. With my very white, very Southern-Minded students, I like to talk about race. For some, this is the only way they will learn etiquette when talking about race. I begin a transition to the religious discussion by having them do research on different aspects of the Civil Right's Movement. With this, they get there first taste of MLA formatting, and while I do not have them do an entire research paper, I find this very beneficial. They take all this information, and do a presentation. After they have all presented, I give them my presentation on Malcolm X.
When discussin Malcolm X, I spend about half of the presentation discussing the similarities and differences between he and his contemporary Martin Luther King Jr. I focus a lot of attention on teaching my kids about the Islamic religion and the simlarities and differences between it and Christianity. We then watch the Spike Lee movie, and students select a symbol to trace the development of throughout the film. In the end, this culminates with reading Othello, a story of a racial and religious outsider, a black muslim in a white Christian society.
I'm pretty proud of this thread running throughout my 12 week class. Since we finished up the Malcolm X portion of the class, I decided to share this photo my husband found on the website http://artoftrolling.memebase.com/ .
Before projecting the picture, we discuss what an internet troll is. I then ask them to write in their notebooks what is wrong with this picture. While discussing the photo in one class, this is what one student said:
"So, Malcom X and Martin Luther King aren't the same guy?"
I'm still trying to determine whether it was a student fail or a teacher fail.