THE TRUE YOU Day 1 (A DAY ONLY 5/10)

Poem A Day:

This is a perfect song for kicking of a unit about staying true to who you are and what you believe. The students loved the lyrics and it kind of blew their mind despite its simplicity.

Mini-lesson:

We defined the term “suburbs” and I checked their prior knowledge. We got on the same page about what the suburbs are like

Active Engagement:

 

Today we read the first 200 (1st block) 160 (2nd block) pages together, out loud, of Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese. Students found the book to be hilarious, and to make them feel really uncomfortable about how hilarious they found it. We just read today- the book is wildly entertaining, and students were bummed when we ran out of time.

Closure:

I asked students to finish the sentence in their notebooks:

So far, I think the main theme of this book will be…

Students nailed this on the head and it was cool to see how confident they were in their ability to find themes after writing their Macbeth essays and also reflecting on their growth this year.

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THE TRUE YOU Day 4 (B DAY ONLY 5/9)

Poem A Day:

This is a wonderful music video and a wonderful song- it ties into the same themes (and visual motifs!) of the videos we have watched/literature we have read so far in this unit, and the video is a great example of visual storytelling.

Mini-lesson:

Today we read Kevin Wong’s blog “The Realest Comic About Growing Up Asian American, And Hating Yourself.”

We discussed Kevin’s methods of literary analysis and tied his thoughts to the ones students recorded about the book in our last class. 

 

Finally, we watched the first episode of “Fresh of the Boat.” Students analyzed the similarities in the plot, and we also discussed how the writers of the show used multiple narratives to deliver the same theme as our novel.

Active Engagement:

Students worked independently on the body paragraphs of their essays.

Closure:

Introduction and all body paragraphs are due Friday.

 

THE TRUE YOU Day 3 (B DAY ONLY 5/7)

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.

Mini-lesson:

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.

Active Engagement:

Students began writing their essays. I conferred as needed.

Closure:

Students will have all of their evidence selected, and an introduction paragraph done by next class.

THE TRUE YOU Day 2 (B DAY ONLY 5/3)

Poem A Day:

This song comes off of an album by Arcade Fire called The Suburbs. The entire album is fitting, and it was hard to choose just one song. I chose this one because the music video is pretty cool and captures the same themes as American Born Chinese, and central to this unit about being yourself, in its own weird way. Also, the lyrics capture life in the suburbs.

Mini-lesson:

Today we finished reading American Born Chinese. Then I asked students to get into groups of three-four and go through the book again, from start to finish, trying to find all of the literary elements Yang used to deliver his theme of being true to yourself.

Active Engagement:

This book uses a lot of neat strategies for delivering this theme, and they are pretty heavy-handed and obvious., I think students will feel another boost of confidence as they are able to easily identify some symbols and plot structure techniques and discuss how these come together to teach a lesson.

Closure:

Share out responses and I record their observations. Of course, I will post those here once they happen.

 

THE TRUE YOU Day 1 (B DAY ONLY 5/1)

Poem A Day:

This is a perfect song for kicking of a unit about staying true to who you are and what you believe. The students loved the lyrics and it kind of blew their mind despite its simplicity.

Mini-lesson:

We defined the term “suburbs” and I checked their prior knowledge. We got on the same page about what the suburbs are like

Active Engagement:

 

Today we read the first 133 pages together, out loud, of Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese. Students found the book to be hilarious, and to make them feel really uncomfortable about how hilarious they found it. We just read today- the book is wildly entertaining, and students were bummed when we ran out of time.

Closure:

I asked students to finish the sentence in their notebooks:

So far, I think the main theme of this book will be…

Students nailed this on the head and it was cool to see how confident they were in their ability to find themes after writing their Macbeth essays and also reflecting on their growth this year.