Teachers Against Prejudice Essay

When I used the lessons with one group of sixth-graders in May of 2015, I was gratified by how readily they shared examples—in discussion and in poetry—of ways they had been slighted, and how much writing about it seemed to be healing for them.One important note: For this exercise, I asked the students to focus, as Rankine does in , on common, everyday injustices because I wanted them to understand how these injustices, by creating a climate of hostility, often set the stage for larger acts of violence.To the point where someone walks in front of you or walks into you?

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You can write this on the board as an example, perhaps showing the class how they could use the second-person “you” to tell this story, rather than the more typical first-person “I.” This step could also be a composite story, with several people contributing sentences.

Offer that “Maybe you were the one being mean one time,” and ask if they can remember a time when this was the case. Ask, “How do you think the other person might have felt? The Walk by Lya Justice Steele You were in your house.

Encourage discussion about the incident Rankine describes at the drugstore, where the man who cut in front of her insists he did not see her.

Ask, “Has any of you ever had the experience of feeling like you really were not seen?

by Phyllis Meshulam My heartbreak over the unnecessary death of Trayvon Martin was far from healed when news of the fatal shooting of a local California teen, Andy Lopez, created fresh rupture.

In the midst of the horror and helplessness I felt, I was grateful to come upon Claudia Rankine’s book Of course the book confronts us with another form of injustice: the everyday violence of constant slights and micro-aggressions that people of color are still subject to in this country.We are trying to show how the bad feelings start, rather than how they escalate into violent actions. And remind them that all the usual rules of good writing apply: using metaphors or similes and plenty of sensory details. ” Or you can tell your students they might choose to write about a time when someone was kind and made them feel better. If students are having trouble getting started, you can provide some of the following starters: are used to hurt (or help) us. Miley Cyrus by Alexis Hernandez Abundis People call me Miley Cyrus, even though I am a boy. Presentation of Supplementary Material When I taught this lesson, I brought in pictures from Toni Morrison’s book .The photos in this book are from 19, when a new law requiring schools to desegregate was starting to be enforced.Explain that it can be useful when writing about something very painful: that it can help the writer feel a little more private, but also might help the listener feel like s/he is really part of the experience, too.You can also point out how Rankine’s work is in the form of prose poems, which don’t use the line breaks usually associated with poetry, but make use of other poetic techniques.Ask the class to notice how, throughout the poem, the speaker uses the second person, calling herself “you.” Ask them why they think she does this.Tell them that they can use this technique as well, if they want, in their own writing.


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