A Few (Hundred) Words from W.R.A.P. Day 2

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WRAP = Writing and Reading Alignment Project, btw…

Today, our workshop group spent the day discussing Abraham Lincoln and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.

First, I’ll just go ahead a recommend reading everything you can about and by Lincoln.  You can come back to this blog when you’re done…in 2031.

Last night, we were assigned to read a handful of excerpts by and about the 16th President.  Part of what we’re doing at this workshop is discussing (and exemplifying) the learning strategies we want our upper level HS students to take with them to college.  Regardless of one’s attitude toward higher learning or academia, to me it’s everyone’s individual responsibility to absorb as much information about any topic of interest.  Should you care about Lincoln?  I think so.  Will you?  That I cannot answer.

However, by exposing students to texts (written and visual) about a topic within our subject area, we are directing them toward a more informed and educated perspective.

Amazing what an education can do, eh?

Lincoln, we discussed today with the shared texts, remains a superhero American figure.  Was he completely pure and free from criticism?  Hardly..  Am I answering too many of my own questions?  You decide.

For our afternoon discussion of Harper Lee’s renowned novel (and subsequent award winning film), we zeroed in on some passages and scenes that, after close analysis and guided questioning, prompted some debate and varied points of view.  Hooray!  Intelligent people with differing opinions!  (And no one felt the need to shout louder than his/her counter nor record the opposing views as fodder for YouTube!)

If you feel like doing something that feels very illegal and immoral, you can watch the full movie here.

And, while I’m showing how I learned how to hyperlink, here’s one way to obtain the newest Harper Lee book.  I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve been told there are not, in fact, any zombies.

The benefit to all of this could be summed up as follows:

Second-grade students may not need to be privy to the questionable details of Lincoln’s tactics or the deep-rooted racism in the American South during The Depression.  However, over their next ten years, they need to develop a more crisp view of history and literature (and of course all other fields available to them) to better prepare them for life after high school.  Part of how this is done is through a responsible teacher/instructor seeking out texts that have those differing viewpoints.

You know how you smack your forehead any time someone you know on Facebook shares an misinformed, biased article from a site that has a name like SkrewedUpNewz.com?  It’s incredibly dangerous that those people ACTUALLY BELIEVE what they are reading!   They are much more likely to retain that and pass it along to the next generation.  While I’m not going to go on about an individual’s right to believe whatever the hell they want, can we agree that, for the sheer hope of advancing as a society, we can have some type of boundaries?  Was that another question?

Okay, so much of this was not presented exactly as I’m reporting.  But this is my blog, so I would be remiss if I didn’t explicitly say that W.R.A.P. is not responsible for this old-geezery rant.

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