Welcome to the last Teaching Discussion Board of our semester. Our final text of the semester is Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert.
Our Test Class for the Week: I'm returning to Brockton High, the single largest high school east of the Mississippi that is not in New York or New Jersey. You can use the information about Brockton High School included for the week we read The Poet X. You can check out the information about the high school in general from that post.
Instead of IB class, which, as I said that week, has a very specific curriculum, I would love to see this novel taught in a College Prep 12th grade class. Their are certain elements of this novel about young adults that I think will resonate with seniors in college (the main characters are that age or a little older) and, also, the subject matter needs a class of more mature students to manage.
I want to point out, as this is our last novel, that we have managed to go the entire semester with one white cis-gender male writer--nothing against white cis-gender males, though I know how a statement like that can feel that way. What I mean is, as we've discussed all semester, representation matters. And the novels, poems, and nonfiction we've encountered in this semester has, I hope, made clear how that is possible and even welcome. One way I see this? In the discussion of Dread Nation, nobody once even mentioned that our main character was a black woman, nobody said "it might be difficult for a fill-in-the-blank reader to identify with the story." That, to my mind, is progress on all fronts.
Your Prompt: For our last prompt, I have a very specific question for you, a two parter. Question 1: what would you do in a classroom, what assignments, structures, class activities, assessments, etc would you design to help your students be better readers of other texts they might encounter in school and beyond? Question 2: What would you do, assignments, structures, etc. to help students develop a meaningful thematic relationship with this specific text, the story of Little & Lion and its characters.
You can privilege answering one or the other of the two parts, but I would appreciate it if you at least in passing address both parts of the prompt.
A NOTE ABOUT THIS PROMPT: If you are teaching the lesson plan option, for the Final Project, you might consider how you would answer this two-part question as you design your lesson for whatever text you intend to teach.