"Learning to Live Together" - a comparative theme unit
Designed by Mrs. B. Miller
You have met several very determined, strong characters in your reading this year. They all have lived very different lives than what you may be accustomed to, most notably dealing with the issues of racism and prejudice. You will be exploring the differences in the way the characters such as Amanda Beale, Kenny Watson, and Cassie Logan lived as African Americans in their time periods and the effects racism and prejudice had upon them and their societies.
Your group will use the internet and suggested websites to explore components of the Civil Rights movement. Using your findings in combination with your knowledge of the lifestyles of Amanda, Kenny, and Cassie, you will choose a role of one of these characters to write a week"s worth of diary entries which focus on what your life is like as an African-American during your particular time period. Each group member should choose a different character. In groups larger than three, other characters to choose from can be Kenny"s brother Byron, Cassie"s brother Stacey, or Stacey"s friend T.J..
Be creative! Do not limit yourself to the events in the novel - think "outside the box" and add scenes/situations which reflect the treatment of African-Americans of your time period.
Finally, you (as your chosen character) will participate in a panel discussion for your class which describes the lifestyle and challenges for African-Americans of each of the the studied time periods.
1. As a group, use the following websites to research important events relating to the development of and key events of the Civil Rights Movement in American History. Carefully record at least three major events as they correspond with each novel, even if the events would have taken place right before or after when the story occurred.
2. Using information gathered from the websites, in addition to your knowledge of the characters from reading your novel, develop one week"s worth (7 entries) of diary entries. You need to write as though you are either Amanda, Kenny, or Cassie. Each entry should be at least three paragraphs in length. They should include details from the novel"s events as well as your creative spin to include two or more historical details from the novel"s time period that could somehow affect the daily lives of the characters and/or their families.
3. Finally, you need to prepare for a panel discussion. Be prepared to answer questions in regard to how racism and prejudice have affected your life. Also, questions may pertain to the differences you see in the white people of your time period - who treats you fairly? Review your notes gained from the websites about historical details from your time period so you can address issues in that regard as well. Remember, not all of your classmates have read all three novels, so it will be up to you to "bring to life" the time periods and themes of your novels.
You and your group will be evaluated based upon a given rubric.
As a result of your novel reading, online research, diary entries, and panel discussion, you should have a clearer picture of the evolution of the Civil Rights Movement and African-American history. Continue to analyze your role in today"s society and think about what you can do to promote equality among all people.