My lesson on Monday will ask students to think about the values of capitalism and democracy through the lens of looking at Black Friday and UC Davis violence. I hope some of the resources will be helpful to others.
Do Now: What is the message that the creator of this image is trying to communicate? What is your reaction to it? (4 minutes)
Ask students to turn to the person next to them and share what they wrote. Then, ask for three volunteers to share what their partner had to say. (6 minutes)
Please share this with any teachers you know. Dr. Marable was very important to me, and I can think of no greater tribute to him then to share his work so that it inspires new social critics. I have written a curriculum to to support the project, which you can find here.
“Along The Color Line”, written by the late historian Dr. Manning Marable, was a public educational and information service dedicated to fostering political dialogue and discussion, inspired by the great tradition for political event columns written by W. E. B. Du Bois nearly a century ago. This video contest provides high school students with the opportunity and incentive to use scholarly research to analyze and pose solutions to some of the social issues that Manning Marable addressed in his writings such as sexism, racism, imperialism, and poverty. It continues the spirit of “Along the Color Line” by fostering critical analysis on political issues and public events that had special significance to African Americans and to other people of color internationally; allows students the creative license to translate the rigorous research that Dr. Marable used in his “Along the Color Line“ columns into a creative and accessible video medium; and empowers students to speak out about the material conditions of their lives to an audience of teachers, activists and community members at “A New Vision of Black Freedom: The Manning Marable Tribute Conference” sponsored by Columbia University’s Institute for Research in African-American Studies from April 26 – April 28, 2012.
Curriculum Connection: An adaptable weeklong curriculum developed by a NYS certified HS teacher is available free for educators. It provides educational units and background reading for teachers of Civics, Government and US History to connect this contest to their classroom while meeting several Common Core writing (1,4,5,6,9) and reading (1,2,4,6,8,9,10) standards.
Contest Requirements: After becoming familiar with Manning Marable’s column “Along the Color Line” style of blending scholarly data with political analysis to address social issues, students will create a 2-3 minute long video presentation that features their research and analysis of a social issue that is important to them and their community.
Criteria: This contest is limited to students currently enrolled in high school anywhere in the US. Submissions will be judged on depth of knowledge of social problem being discussed, originality, and creative expression. Students can submit individually or through their teacher as part of a class project.
Submissions: The due date is February 17, 2012 before midnight. Submissions should be sent to email@example.com. Only one submission per email and per student. Students must include their name, age, grade, and full contact information as well as the name, address and phone number of their high school. Videos longer than 3 minutes will not be accepted.
Finalists: The top finalists will be special guests of the conference, where their videos will be screened. The first place winner will be announced at conference.
Prize: $250 Prize, one of Dr. Marable’s books and the video featured on the conference website.
For more information or questions contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the most powerful parts of visiting Occupy Wall Street is experiencing the Human Mic and direct democracy in place there. This morning, I came across this incredible video that captures both that I will be showing in class on Monday (via Zaheer Ali / @ZaheerAli):
As impressive as the video is, it’s important to remember this is a piece of propaganda put out by the movement. We’ve been working on sourcing the past week, so this will give students a great opportunity to try out their sourcing skills.
I imagine most students will be pretty taken by the film, so to force students think more rigorously about the implications of direct democracy, I’ll follow up the video by reading this op-ed from the New York Times this week about direct democracy in California:
But as California, the nation’s most populous state, marks this anniversary, the accumulated impact of direct democracy has made it virtually ungovernable. A two-thirds vote was required in each chamber of the Legislature to approve new taxes as a result of Proposition 13, the fabled tax initiative adopted in 1978. Ballot-box budgeting locks in large portions of the budget; Proposition 98, passed in 1988, dedicates about 40 percent of the state’s general fund to public education.
I’ll be discussing Occupy Wall Street with my students on Wednesday (and longer, if they are interested). I’m also hoping my grade team will be up for delaying our planned field day on Friday for us to take a field trip to visit and have our students do a citizen journalist project. I’m preparing for a few different types of conversations based on what my students are most curious about, and I’ve divided the resources accordingly.
- The Original Call to Action
- Declaration of the Occupation of New York
- Protesters Against Wall Street (New York Times)
- Why I’m Here
- Occupy Wall Street voices from Zuccotti Park: David Everitt-Carlson, 55 (from Mark Anderson / @mandercorn)
- Cornel West Speech at Liberty Plaza (Democracy Now!)
- Occupy Together Posters
- Welcome to the #OWS 99% Movement “We Will NOT Be Co-Opted” Working Group
- Occupy Wall Street: Stronger Without One Specific Demand (International Business Times)
- Arrest outside White House as lawmakers debate protests (CNN)
- Think Occupy Wall St. is a Phase? You Don’t Get It (Douglas Rushkoff / Common Dreams) (from Bill Chapman / @Classroomtools)
- The Daily Show
- Alan Grayson / PJ O’Rourke Exchange on Real Time
- As Unions, Students Join Occupy Wall Street, Are We Witnessing Growth of a New Movement? (Democracy Now!)
- Making Room for Racial Justice in the People Power Exploding Around Us (Rinku Sen / Color Lines)
I’m adding a “Current Events” section to this blog. Hopefully this will be helpful to some teachers out there who are looking for resources for discussing current topics. I’ll try to post what I find whenever I’m doing current events in my senior government/economics course.
When discussing current events in class, I use the following format:
- Students are assigned to read and/or watch about a topic the night in advance
- Students are presented with readings (and sometimes video) on the event
- The class constructs a list of the facts of the event based on the texts and their knowledge
- The class lists questions that the event raises
- The class discusses the questions
After spending last week looking at the question, “Does marketing create identities?,” Tuesday seems like an ideal time to discuss the legacy of Steve Jobs. We’ll use Apple as a case study to further investigate that question. Here are the resources I’ll be using Tuesday:
- How Jobs Infused Passion Into Products (New York Times)
- Steve Jobs Owns You (A Passion for Teaching and Opinion)
- Think Different Ad
- The Colbert Report