We finally finished The Pearl by John Steinbeck. The kids were more then relieved to be done with that "ancient" book (sense the sarcasm?!?). We began our 2nd novel today. It is a young adult novel by John Volponi called Black and White written 2005.
Here is the synopsis:
Marcus and Eddie are the stars of Long Island City High School’s basketball team. Marcus is black and Eddie is white, but they got past all that “racial crap” and have been best friends for years. Both boys are looking forward to great futures in college basketball and are waiting to see where they’ll land their scholarships. Then one cold night, something goes wrong and they make a big mistake. Now they can’t turn back and one of them will have to pay. Told in their two voices, BLACK AND WHITE is the gripping story of two good boys who make a bad mistake. It’s also a heartbreaking look at the realities of the urban criminal justice system.
BLACK AND WHITE is the winner of the International Reading Association’s 2006 Young Adult Novel of the Year, an American Library Association Best Book Young Adult and Quick Pick (inspiring non-readers to read) Top Ten selection, and a New York City Public Library Book for the Teen Age selection. It is also a selection of the Texas Library Association for the TAYSHAS 2006-2007 high school reading list. The work received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books.
We are only a chapter into the book and the students really like it so far!!! Hurrayy!!! Victory for me!!!! I will let everyone know how it goes.
Also, the last two days have been a huge success. I did an activity called "Get off the Fence" and "Gallery walk"
Get of the fence requires the kids to make a decision and think for themselves. We started our conversation out discussing decisions. What is a decision? What makes a good decision? What makes a bad decision? What are some examples? This lead into the activity. I gave the students about eight different statements.They had to decide if it was good or bad and go to that designated side of the room. If they were "on the fence" then they were to go into the middle of the room. By the time everyone had discussed their reasoning, the students in the middle had to get off the fence and choose a side, but had to explain why they went to that particular side. It worked out very well =)
Today's activity was called a gallery walk. I had the students pick a group to work in. There were 5 questions posted around the room. Each group was to start at a question, read it, discuss it and answer it. The groups circulate through the room making sure to discuss and answer each question. Once they return to their original question, the group has to re read what everyone wrote under their answer and pick the answer or answers that best summarize the question.
The questions were as follows:
1. How does your environment affect your behavior?
2. What is a stereotype?
3. How do your friends influence you?
4. How are people judged based on their race, ethnicity, etc.?
5. What does society tell us about skin color?
Everyone was very cooperative and really thought hard about these questions! I was thrilled at how things went! =)
Last but not least...I have decided to start a thread called "Kids Say the Darndest Things", so please look for that!