Creating a Shift in Thinking Through Great Literature

Creating a Shift in Thinking
Through Great Literature
Social Justice for Teens
Mal Keenan
[email protected]
Amy MacCrindle
[email protected]
34th Day of Reading
November 6, 2010
Name: _________________________ # __________
Date: ____________________
Circle One: Core 1 / Core 2
My Personal Survey
Working through Differences - RESPECT
This is an anonymous survey. Do not write your name on it!
Complete each statement in a complete sentence based upon your belief and
perspective at the moment.
The worst problem at our school is .......................
I believe....................
I feel left out when..................
I feel unsafe when.....................
I hope........................
Name: _________________________ # __________
Date: ____________________
Circle One: Core 1 / Core 2
What does Social Justice Mean to you?
Write 5-7 Sentences Below:
Directions: Stand up if ……
(During this activity, students will often suggest topics they want to recognize-so go with the
1. (Birth Order)
you are the oldest,
the youngest,
the only child
2. (Origin)
has lived in the country, has lived in the city,
has lived in
the suburbs, born in Illinois, born in another state, born in another country
3. (Music) you like rap music, you like country & western music,
classical, you like rock-and-roll, you like hip hop music, etc.
you like
4. (Schools) you like Northern, like ISU, Northwestern, like Duke, like
MCC, like Ohio State, like Syracuse, etc.
5. (Hobbies) you like skateboarding, like karate,
playing an instrument, like singing, like football,
like dancing, like
like cooking, like
basketball, like baseball, like soccer, like hockey, like swimming, like
reading, like playing video or computer games, like shopping, like going to the
movies, etc.
Guess Who:
Women’s Rights in other Countries
I work twice as much as man on any given
I earn 1/10 of a man’s salary
I must get my husband’s consent to open
my own bank account
I account for more than 2/3 of the illiterate
people in our continent
I dropped out of school at the age of 12 due
to being pregnant
I struggle with malnutrition: I’m only
allowed to eat at the end of the day after the
men eat
I will be married at a young age to a man
that my family chooses… and he will be
receive a dowry for marrying me
I dropped out of school at the age of 8
because my parents were afraid I would be
“tarnished” by the boys in the school
In my country, ever hour a woman is raped
and ever 93 minutes a woman is burned to
death due to a problem with the dowry
I will be married at a young age, and my
husband was chosen by my family when I
was younger than ten
I will never see my family again, once I marry
my husband (who could be MUCH older
than me)
If I don’t produce a male heir, I may be
beaten, tortured, or killed
I may learn a secret language to
communicate with my fellow women with
called Nu Shu
I will go through school, but if my husband
is ready for me to marry him, I will drop out
and have babies
Guess Who:
Women’s Rights in other Countries
I must have my husband’s permission to
obtain a passport
My life is only valued half as much as a man’s
I may not leave my home without my
husband’s permission
There is an 80% chance that I was sexually
abused between the ages of 10-17
I can be divorced by my husband without
him even telling me about it in advance
I can never be President of my country
because I am not a man
Since 2001, more than 2500 women and girls have
been killed
Women are prone to rape, mutilation, decapitation,
and murder
If I’m young , a teen, widow, or single woman I
more than likely work in a sweat shop – 6 days a
week, 10 hours a day, no restrooms
Only 26% of girls complete Primary School (K-4).
Sir Gawain & the Lady Ragnell
ne day King Arthur was hunting in Ingleswood Forest with his men when a deer stepped into
view. "Hold still, everyone," said the king, "I'll stalk this deer myself." Holding his bow in one hand and
his arrows over his shoulder, the king crept upon the deer until, deep into the forest, he slayed the deer
with one shot. As the animal fell, a tall figure stepped from the shadows.
"How fortunate for me that we meet this way, with your arrow released from your hand,"
boomed the voice of a strong and mighty knight. "King Arthur, for many a year, you have done me
wrong. Now it is time to quiet you here."
It was Sir Gromer! Thinking quickly, the king said, "To slay me here, armed as you are and I
clothed but in my greens, would bring you no honor. All the knights will refuse to sit by you, and shame
will follow you evermore. I'll grant you anything - name it - land or gold, to spare my life."
"There is no land or gold that I desire," said Sir Gromer. "However I will get what I seek in an
honorable way. I'll give you a chance to solve a riddle. One year and a day from now, you must appear
before me, here in the woods as you are, without friends to come with you and without weapons. If at
that time you are unable to solve this riddle, no man will object that I will take your life. But if you
answer the riddle correctly, there will be no battle. You must swear on your honor that you will return in
one year and a day, as I have said."
"Lo, I agree," said the king. "What is the riddle?"
"You must tell me what it is that women desire most, above all else."
"I assure you," says King Arthur, "as I am the true king, that I will come again in one year and a
day and bring you the answer that you seek."
And so Sir Gromer left. The king blew his bugle and his hunting companions found him with the
slain deer at his feet. Yet rather than finding their ruler in good spirits as they would expect, his
companions saw heaviness in their king's face. They realized some disturbance must have come about,
but when they asked him what could be the matter, he did not say.
Only to his nephew, the gentle Sir Gawain, did King Arthur share what had really taken place.
"Sir, be of good cheer," said the youthful knight after he heard full through the demand of Sir
"The Weddynge of Sir Gawen and Dame Ragnell," a poem from a 16th century manuscript that is
currently located in Oxford, England (Bodleian Library MS 11957).
Sir Gawain & the Lady Ragnell
Gromer. "Let's ready your horse. Together we will ride into country after country. Wherever we go, we
will ask every man and woman for the correct answer until we find it."
And so the king and his nephew Sir Gawain rode away. Everywhere, they inquired what it is that
women desire above all else. All the people who answered were certain their answer was correct, yet each
answer was different. Some said women loved to be well adorned; others said they must not be scorned.
Some said women want a husband who is handsome and strong; others that they want a man who will
not prove them wrong. And so King Arthur and Sir Gawain collected many an answer yet none that
seemed right. Soon only a month remained.
Back in Ingleswood Forest, King Arthur met a lady. Though she was covered with gold and many
a precious stone, she was as foul a creature as ever a man did see. Her face was red, her nose was runny,
her mouth was too wide, her teeth yellow and hanging, her eyes bleary, her neck too long, and she was
shaped like a barrel.
The lady rode up to King Arthur.
"Good speed, King Arthur," said she. "Speak with me or go, for thy life is in mine hand."
"What do you mean, lady?" said the king. "What would you have with me?"
"Of all the answers you have been told," says the loathsome lady, "none of them will help you.
Only I know the correct answer. Grant me but one thing, Sir King, and I shall tell it to you, or else thou
shalt lose thy head."
"What is it that you seek?" said the king. "If I can, I shall grant it."
"You must grant me a certain knight to wed. His name is Sir Gawain. Either I marry the Knight Sir
Gawain, or you must lose your head."
"Alas!" the king thought to himself, "woe is me, that I should cause Gawain, my own nephew, to
thus be wed!" He said aloud, "Then we must part, lady. But do tell me, before I go, what is your name?"
"Sir King, I am the Lady Ragnell."
"The Weddynge of Sir Gawen and Dame Ragnell," a poem from a 16th century manuscript that is
currently located in Oxford, England (Bodleian Library MS 11957).
Sir Gawain & the Lady Ragnell
And so they parted. The king returned to Carylylle where the first man he met was his nephew, Sir
Gawain. The king told him all except the request of the loathsome lady to wed Sir Gawain. Arthur said
only that the Lady Ragnell will share the secret for the promise of a husband.
"Is that all?" said Sir Gawain. "Then I shall wed her and wed her again, or else I would not be your
friend. For you are my king and my liege. To save your life, my lord, I will do whatever I can or I would
be false and a great coward."
A few days later the king and Sir Gawain rode out of town. The king separated and returned to the
spot where he had met the Lady Ragnell. He told her she will have her request and marry Sir Gawain.
"Therefore tell me now, quickly my lady, the answer to the riddle."
"Sir," said Lady Ragnell, "now thou shalt know what women desire above all else. Some men say
we desire to be beautiful, or that we desire attentions from many men, or that we desire to be well wed.
Thus, these men do not know the truth. What we desire above all else is to have sovereignty, to rule our
lives as we see fit, to not be beholden to another. Go forth, Sir King, for now thy life is assured."
The king rode as fast as he could to where he had met Sir Gromer. He started by giving one of the
answers he had been given earlier. Then another, and another, and yet another. But to each one Sir
Gromer shook his head with glee.
"Nay, nay," said Sir Gromer, "you are as good as a dead man. Prepare to bleed."
"Abide, Sir Gromer," King Arthur said. "I have one answer left."
"Very well then," said Sir Gromer, "or else so help me, your death you shalt have."
"Now here is the answer," says the king. "Above all, women desire sovereignty, to rule their lives
as they see fit."
"And who was it that told you this?" roared Sir Gromer. "No doubt it was my sister the Lady
Ragnell! May she burn on a fire! Yet now I am compelled to release you - so go!"
"Farewell," said King Arthur, and he quickly turned around his horse. Then he sped to the Lady
Ragnell to bring her back to his castle for the wedding. Yet so unpleasant was the prospect of holding a
"The Weddynge of Sir Gawen and Dame Ragnell," a poem from a 16th century manuscript that is
currently located in Oxford, England (Bodleian Library MS 11957).
Sir Gawain & the Lady Ragnell
public wedding with such a bride that he told her the ceremony will be a morning affair, knowing that
meant there would be few or none to attend. But this the Lady Ragnell would not abide.
"Nay, Sir King," said she, firmly. "Openly I must be wed, with a full wedding feast and guests
aplenty in attendance."
On the evening of the wedding feast, the Lady Ragnell carefully watched her groom. Was he
disgusted by her? Would he turn his back and ignore her? Strangely, this he did not do. The knight
behaved as if he cherished his loathsome bride.
Later that night in their wedding chambers, the Lady Ragnell said, "Sir Gawain, now that we have
wed, show me your courtesy with a kiss. If I were fair, you would not delay. I pray you do this at my
request, with all due speed."
Sir Gawain said, "I will at once, that and more!" As he sped around to kiss his bride he saw before
him not the loathesome creature he had married, but the fairest creature he ever did see.
"Aye!" he cried out. "What are ye? a witch?!"
"I am your wife," said she, "that and securely."
"Ah, lady, then I must not be in my right mind," said the confused Sir Gawain. "Earlier today you
were the foulest sight that ever I saw - pardon me for saying so - and now, it seems my good furtune to
have you thus!" And he rushed into her arms, giving her many kisses.
"Sir," said she, pulling away for a moment, "There is more you must know. Several years ago I was
deformed by enchantment by my brother, the terrible Sir Gromer. My beauty, as you see it now, will not
hold. You need to choose whether you will have me fair by night and foul by day, or else have me fair by
day and foul by night. With the enchantment, it cannot be both. What do you choose?"
"Alas!" said Gawain, "the choice is hard. To have you fair by nights and no more, that would
grieve my heart right sore. And if I desire by days to have you fair, then nights I'm sure I could not bear.
So I must put the choice in your own hands. Whatever you choose, as your husband that choice will also
be my own."
"The Weddynge of Sir Gawen and Dame Ragnell," a poem from a 16th century manuscript that is
currently located in Oxford, England (Bodleian Library MS 11957).
Sir Gawain & the Lady Ragnell
"Mercy, courteous knight! Of all earthly knights blessed must you be, for now the evil
enchantment is released completely! You shalt have me fair both day and by night, and ever as I live I will
be fair and bright. For the only thing that could release me from Gromer's spell was if a husband granted
me, of his own free will, sovereignty to choose what I wish for myself. And now, Sir Knight, courteous
Gawain, you have done just that. You have granted me sovereignty, that which every woman wants
above all else. Kiss me, Sir Knight, now, and pray thee be glad!"
And so the Lady Ragnell remained beautiful all day and all night, and she and Gawain the Knight
lived happily thereafter.
"The Weddynge of Sir Gawen and Dame Ragnell," a poem from a 16th century manuscript that is
currently located in Oxford, England (Bodleian Library MS 11957).
Non-Violent Leaders: Station 1
Read and annotate (show your thinking) on each of the
poems about Ghandi, King, and Chavez.
Annotate means to show your thinking through writing
(connections, synthesis, symbolism, questions, inferences, visualizations, etc.)
Pass the poems around and read what your group members have written before
adding your own thinking.
Add at least 3 annotations per poem (take turns!)
Violent Leaders: Station 2
Evaluate the Political Cartoon
Read the Black Panther’s platform “What We Want”.
On Your Piece of Butcher Paper write your inferences, questions, comments,
emotions, feelings, etc.
What was the Black Panther’s vision for the future?
Violent Leaders: Station 2
Black Panther Party: An Alternate Dream
We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our black
2. We want full employment for our people.
We want an end to the robbery by the white man of our black community.
4. We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings.
5. We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this
decadent American society....
We want all black men to be exempt from military service.
7. We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of black people.
8. We want freedom for all black men held in federal, state, county and city
prisons and jails.
9. We want all black people when brought to trial be tried in court by a jury of
their peer group or people from their black communities, as defined by the
Constitution of the United States.
10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace. And as
our major political objective, a United Nations-supervised [vote] to be held
throughout the black colony in which only black colonial subjects will be
allowed to participate, for the purpose of determining the will of black people
as to their national destiny.
From Jacqueline Johnson, Stokely Carmichael: The Story of Black Power (Englewood
Cliffs, NJ: Silver Burdett Press, Simon & Schuster Elementary, 1990), p. 113.
Non-Violent Leaders: Station 3
Read the speech below and discuss as a group.
List problems still faced by African Americans, according to the speech, on your
sheet of paper.
The Unfulfilled Dream
President of the National Urban League John E. Jacob evaluated the progress made by the Civil Rights
BLACK PEOPLE are in trouble today.
America is in trouble today.
Look at what has happened in America in the past three years: Five million more people are poor. A
third of all blacks are poor. Half of all black children are growing up in poverty. The black infant
mortality rate in the United States is worse than the national rate of Bulgaria-- that's right, Bulgaria!
This is an America in which a black child born today has a fifty percent chance of growing up
underprivileged, undereducated, and underemployed.
We read about an economic recovery in the newspapers. Where is it? It's the best-kept secret in
history for black people. In this so-called economic recovery the official black unemployment rate is
frozen at more than twenty percent. A third of blacks who want work can't find it. Two out of three
black teenagers who want to work are unemployed.
Hunger and want stalk this land. Hundreds of thousands of homeless people search for shelter and for
a scrap of food. Here in New Orleans the number of people in need of emergency food aid doubled
last year. In Detroit, 50,000 people a month exist on surplus cheese handouts.
A lot of very nice people are upset about famine in Ethiopia, about refugees in Afghanistan, about
suppression of workers in Poland. They're worried about the arms race. They're concerned about war
in El Salvador.
But where is the concern about suffering right here in the U.S.A.? What about the millions of
Americans, black and white, who go to bed hungry and thank the Lord for having a roof over their
heads, knowing full well how many don't even have that.
Where is the concern for the millions of poor children, who face a bleak future, condemned to lives of
Where is the concern about the dangerous drift toward a divided nation, one part largely white and
employed, the other largely minority and poor?
We ask these questions because the future of black Americans is at stake.
From Milton Meltzer, The Black Americans: A History In Their Own Words (New York: Thomas Y.
Crowell, 1984), pp. 285-286
Violent Leaders: Station 4
Evaluate the Political Cartoon and Read the Malcolm X’s beliefs described in “An
Alternate Dream”.
Write a 5-7 sentence blog about Malcom X’s view of the relations between the
races in America.
Respond to at last 2 other member’s of your group’s blogs.
Violent Leaders: Station 4
Malcolm X: An Alternate Dream
Is white America really sorry for her crimes against the black people? Does white
America have the capacity to repent--and to atone? Does the capacity to repent, to
atone, exist in a majority, in one-half, in even one-third of American white society?
Many black men, the victims-- in fact most black men-- would like to be able to
forgive, to forget, the crimes.
But most American white people seem not to have it in them to make any serious
atonement-- to do justice to the black man.
Indeed, how can white society atone for enslaving, for raping, for unmanning, for
otherwise brutalizing millions of human beings, for centuries? What atonement
would the God of Justice demand for the robbery of the black people's labor, their
lives, their true identities, their culture, their history-- and even their human
A desegregated cup of coffee, a theater, public toilets-- the whole range of
hypocritical 'integration'-- these are not atonement.
From Malcolm X with the assistance of Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X
(New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1964), p. 370.
Head Band Activity Sayings
Wealthy Banker
Unemployed Biker
Pregnant Mom on Welfare, 4 kids
Drug Addict
Aids Patient
Convict on Parole
Gang Banger
Name: ____________________ # _________
Date: ______________________
Circle One: Core 1 / Core 2
How Can YOU impact Society?
Social Justice Project
As we have been studying social justice over the past few weeks, we have explored various issues in
society. You are now going to pick an issue and choose to do one of the following either individually or
is a group of two or three:
Research historical and contemporary aspects of a particular issue
Determine alternative ways activists in the past could have made their voices heard
Create a new way to make people aware of a specific issue
You may choose to complete one of these tasks in the following way:
Mock Website
Venn Diagram
Ad Campaign
Political Cartoons
Children’s Book
Surveys to give to your peers and teachers about the issue
Issues – remember, you are not LIMITED to any of these, see us to get another one approved 
Women’s Rights
Equality (sport, workplace, schools)
Ethnic Differences - Genocide
Civil Rights
Animal Rights
Children’s Rights
Environmental Rights
Disability Rights
Sexual Orientation Rights
Religious Rights
Name: ____________________ # _________
Date: ______________________
Circle One: Core 1 / Core 2
Social Justice Project Planning
Chosen Issue: ________________________________
Individual Project or Group (list those in group): ____________________________________
Ideas for Project:
This project will be due on ____________________. You will have PLENTY of
time to work on this in class!!!
Your Signature or Signature of those in Groups:
Name: ____________________ # _________
Date: ______________________
Circle One: Core 1 / Core 2
How Can YOU impact Society?
Social Justice Project Websites for Ideas
Choose a few websites to help determine what social justice issue you would like to research
for your final project. Remember, you may get ideas from them  List at least ten
ideas/topics you find online … make sure to DEFINE the topic not just list it.
Group Members: __________________________
Social Justice Project Rubric
Organization and Professionalism
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Goals of presentation are clearly stated at the beginning of it.
Each member is well prepared and visibly interested.
Presentation is well rehearsed.
Each member participates and can be heard by everyone in audience.
The presentation is appropriate length.
Content and Comprehension
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
 Students have an in-depth and sophisticated understanding of material.
 The information, both spoken and nonverbal, in the presentation is
accurate and appropriate.
 Ethical questions are thoughtful.
 Students are able to answer questions accurately, thoughtfully, and
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
 Is the presentation visually appealing and do the visuals add to the
understanding of the issue?
 How are the graphics, pictures, music, video used to enhance the
 How well was the class engaged?
 Surveys
Final Score: _________________/ 30
Social Justice Book List
Anderson, J. (2010). Working for our future: An equal chance for girls and
Mankato, MN: Sea-to-Sea Publications.
Anderson, L. (2008). Chains. New York: Scholastic.
Angelou, M. (1983). I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. New York: Bantom.
Bartoletti, S. (2008). The boy who dared. New York: Scholastic.
Bridges, R. (1999). Through my eyes. New York: Scholastic.
Clark, C. (2002). Little rock nine. New York: Scholastic.
Currie, S. (1997). We have Marched Together: The Working Children’s Crusade.
Minnesota: Learner Publications.
Curtis, C. (2007). Elijah of Buxton. New York: Scholastic.
Dash, J. (1996). We shall not be moved: The women’s factory strike of 1909. New York:
Finsterbusch, K. & McKenna, G. (1994). Taking sides: Clashing views on controversial
social issues. Guilford, CT: Dushkin Publishing.
Freedman, R. (2006). Freedom walkers: The story of the Montgomery bus boycott. New
York: Holiday House.
Freedman, R. (2005). The voice that challenged a nation: Marian Anderson and the struggle
for equal rights. New York: Scholastic.
Griffon, J. (2003). Black Like Me. New York: Penguin.
Haskins, J. (1992). The day Martin Luther King Jr. was shot: A photo history of the civil
rights movement. New York: Scholastic.
Hesse, K. (2003). Aleutian sparrow. New York: McEldery Books
Hobbs, W. (2007). Crossing the wire. New York: Harper Collins.
Hosseini, K. (2004). The Kite Runner. New York: Penguin.
Hughes, L. (1994). The dream keeper and other poems. New York: Scholastic.
Jimenez, F. (1999) The circuit. New York: Houghton Mifflin
Lester, J. (2005). Let’s talk about race. New York: Amistad - Harper Collins.
Lewis, J.P. (2005). Heroes and she-roes: Poems of amazing and everyday
York: Dial Books
heroes. New
Meltzer, M. (1994). Cheap Raw Materials: How the Youngest Workers are
Exploited and
Abused. New York: Viking.
Social Justice Book List Continued
Mochizuki, K. & Lee, D. (1995). Baseball saved us. New York: Lee & Low Books
Morrison, T. (2004). Remember: The journey to school integration. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Muth, J. (2002). The three questions. New York: Scholastic.
Naidoo, B. (2000). The other side of truth. New York: Harper Collins
Oppenheim, J. (2006). Dear Miss Breed: True stories of the Japanese American
incarceration during World War II and a librarian who made a difference. New York:
Perkins, M. (2007). Rickshaw Girl. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
Park, L. (2005). Project Mulberry. New York: Yearling.
Parks, R. & Haskins, J. (1992). Rosa Parks: My story. New York: Scholastic.
Pinkney, A. (2008). Boycott blues: How Rosa Parks inspired a nation. New York:
Greenwillow Books.
Rappaport, D. (2002). Martin’s big words. New York: Scholastic.
Rappaport, D. (2007). Nobody gonna turn me ‘round: stories and songs of the civil rights
movement. Cambridge: Candlewick Press.
Rodger, E. & Field, J. (2010). Get involved: Social justice activist. New York: Crabtree
Rodger, E. (2010). Get involved: Human rights activist. New York: Crabtree
Ryan, P. (2000). Esperanza rising. New York: Scholastic
Ryan, P. (2002). When Marian sang. Carmel, CA: Hampton Brown.
Sanders, L. (2009). Social justice: How you can make a difference. Mankato, MN: Snap
Smith, D. (2002). If the world were a village: A book about the world’s people.
Tonawanda, NY: Kids Can Press Ltd.
Soto, G. (1997). Buried onions. New York: Harper Collins.
Wilson, J. (2008). One peace: True stories of young activists. Custer, WA: Orca Books.
Walker, A. (2006). The Color Purple. New York: Mariner Books.
Woodson, J. (2002). Hush. New York: Penguin Putnam Books.