Poem A Day:
I chose this song for today because the themes are applicable to today’s lesson. There are political views in this song but I made a disclaimer that they do not necessarily represent my views- and when we discussed the song, I focused on the themes that the song shares with American Born Chinese.
This verse is particularly applicable to today’s lesson:
“Sometimes I speak and I feel like it ain’t my words
Like I’m just a vessel channeling inside this universe
I feel my ancestors arrested inside of me
It’s like they want me to shoot my chance and change society
But how do I go about it? Tell me where I start?
My destiny rerouted when I chose to follow heart
You told to follow suit, but tell me what it do for you?
Except weigh you down, now you trapped inside the cubicle they built for us
The first step in the change is to take notice”
Interestingly, students were able to hone in on the themes from our novel, and they were particularly drawn to the final verse wherein Joey discusses racism in American and the feelings of being ostracized in society- very pertinent in our discussion of American Born Chinese.
I reminded students of the work we did toward the end of last class- finding and collecting evidence from the text in order to find ways the author developed the theme: Be true to yourself.
Today, students shared out responses and I recorded them on the white board. Then we tried to categorize the evidence by “technique”. For example, when a student said that the monkey king taking off his shoes when he accepted who he was, was an important piece of evidence, we categorized it as “symbolism” since the shoes represent symbolically, his desire to fit in, and when he sheds them, it represents his acceptance of himself. We came away with four different techniques the author used to develop the theme: setting, character development, symbolism and plot twist. I posted these notes on google classroom;
Next, we reviewed the prompt for their American Born Chinese essay: Discuss how the author develops the theme: Be true to yourself. We paid particularly close attention to the “development” section of the rubric for this essay.
We defined some terms from the rubric including, “pertinent” “relevant” and “sufficient”.
Finally, we reviewed the basic components of an essay.
Students began writing their essays. I conferred as needed.
Students will have all of their evidence selected, and an introduction paragraph done by next class.