I don’t think it’s particularly good – it’s more of an example of how to use a lot of words to sound fancy without having much substance. But it did remind me of a study that showed students were more likely to eat healthy foods if they viewed it as an act of rebellion against the food industry (see Study: Teens are more likely to eat healthy if they think it’s rebellious).
So I began to wonder if it couldn’t hurt to do a series of lessons on reading as an act of rebellion…
Obviously, excerpts from Fahrenheit 451 could be used. There are lots of online resources about real-life book burning (here’s a timeline a series of photos and a history of book burning).
Graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang wrestled with his identity growing up, but he’s made the Chinese-American experience one of the main subjects of his critically acclaimed work. One of this year’s MacArthur Fellowship winners and the national ambassador for young people’s literature, Yang sits down with Jeffrey Brown to discuss his childhood, his love of coding and the feeling of being an outsider.
The importance of who is telling the story is a critical one in history, broader social change, and education. Of course, in IB Theory of Knowledge, the idea of who is telling the story in in history an important part of the course.
The late Chinua Achebe who, in an interview where he spoke about “the danger of not having your own stories,” said:
I’ve written a number of posts over the years Awesome Stories, the excellent site for free accessible student content on many topics.
Now, for an annual fee of $59, teachers can create virtual classrooms using the site and monitor student progress. That’s nice, though a feature that goes along with that is the one I particularly like – the ability for students (and teachers) to create their own “stories” that can then become part of the site’s content. You can’t beat having an authentic audience for student motivation!
The process to create those stories seems workable for students, though it would be nicer if it was a little more simple – I get wary of anything that requires a ten minute instruction video. But, as I said, it seems like students could figure it out.
Of course, reading the site’s content remains free to everybody.