The 8th grade started their year with a unit on human rights. They prioritized lists of human rights, read informational texts about human rights policy and human rights abuses, they created their own NGOs, they were assigned an option to the question 'what should be the US role in promoting and protecting human rights abroad?' which they had to defend in a mock senate hearing and finally, they were tasked with writing a persuasive essay on what they believed was the best option for US human rights policy. IN this study of human rights, student also read a social justice themed book of their choosing and analyzed the human rights issues in the book by using our 'analysis toolkit'.
Our second unit of the year centers around the anchor text To Kill A Mockingbird. Students had been reading the novel and analyzing themes using our 'spiderweb discussion' method of class discussions.
We have read informational texts to more fully understand the setting of the Great Depression, the Jim Crow era and the real story of the Scottsboro Boys. Now that students have completed the novel, we will read and annotate multiple criticisms of the book and students will need to argue whether or not they think this book deserves to stay in the required reading curriculum of the Lyme School and why?