Monday, November 12, 2007

NIGHT by Elie Wiesel and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee

This year, I am doing a much better job teaching the concepts and themes in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird than I had the one time before. I feel I am actually connecting with the equality emphasis, especially the theme about it being a "sin to kill a mockingbird." Today we re-enacted the trial to the best of our ability. I know I am doing well when I have students coming up to me saying that they are getting mad at the book. "Good, you're supposed to get mad," I say. It's going really well.

With the seniors, I read for the first time Night by Elie Wiesel, a memoir about the author's experience through Auschwitz and the camps. This one is even tougher because of the real horror expressed, not just implied. One discussion, there was a bit of laughter and one of the students admitted, "You have to laugh a little otherwise it'll make you sick if you keep thinking about it."

That's true. It's a world where we still have to learn these lessons, but hopefully, these kids will never have to experience any of this.

This is one of the "found poems" created today by one of the seniors from the book Night:

You shut your trap,
You filthy little swine,
Or I'll squash you right now.
You'd have done better
To hang yourself where you were,
Than come here.
Didn't you know what was
In store for you at Auschwitz,
Haven't you heard about it,
In 1944.

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