Each year we read the novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry in seventh grade English. Seventh graders in the 1990s can have a difficult time relating to the life of characters living in Mississippi in the 1930s. The various lessons of this module will give the students insight into the life experienced by the characters. It will also assist them in synthesizing how the various issues are still applicable in today's society. I will also be supplementing the lessons with video clips and Internet sites. This unit is designed to be a supplement to the novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.
Lesson One: I want the students to learn what it is like to experience segregation personally on a mild level, and then learn the role it played in the South in the 1930s and in our present society.
Lesson Two: I want the students to learn the importance of cotton as a crop in the 1930s and in today's society. Students will explore the cotton gin, sharecropping, and the economic effects of cotton.
Lesson Three: I want the students to learn how the Depression affected the lives of the people.
Lesson Four: I want the students to research various events in history (civil rights movement, segregation, Brown vs. Board of Education, etc.) and occupations and use the information to create a "biography" for one of the main characters in the story.
"Routinely and efficiently use online information resources to meet needs for collaboration, research, publications, communications, and productivity."
"Collaborate with peers, experts, and others to contribute to a content related knowledge base by using technology to compile, synthesize, produce, and disseminate information, models, and other creative works."
Standard 2: Evaluates information critically and competently, as described by the following indicators:
determines accuracy, relevance, and comprehensiveness;
distinguishes among facts, point of view, and opinion;
identifies inaccurate and misleading information;
selects information appropriate to the problem or question at hand.
The relevance of this unit is for students to identify with the characters and comprehend the events occuring in the novel during the time period of the 1930s.
Segregation Activity: After the activity inter-personal journal writing and group discussions will be used to process the activity.
Internet/Electric Library Research - Students will report their findings to the class choosing from a variety of methods (written report, oral presentation, poster, song, skit, poem, or rap).
Students will report to the class based upon their selection of activity.
Assessment will be made when each pair of students gives an oral presentation telling about their experiences and what they learned both in their Internet research and their interview.
The students will create a written "biography" of the character to present to the class in an oral presentation as the character.
1. Segregation Activity - Students will be segregated based on various arbitrary factors (i.e. birth month, clothing color, eye color), and then receive treatment based on the groupings.
2. Segregation Web - Students will create a web about segregation which will contain five key areas (definition, synonyms, types, causes, results). This will be a collaborative activity.
3. Internet/Electric Library Research - Using a resource list provided by the teacher, students will use the Internet and/or Electric Library to research various web sites and articles about segregation (both past and present).
1. Using the Segregation Web from Lesson One, the students will expand on it (using a different color) to show how cotton, its uses, the cotton gin and sharecropping integrate with segregation.
2. Students will select from one of the three activities listed below. They may work independently or with one or two partners.
A. Using the Internet resource list provided by the teacher, students will research the many uses of cotton. They will report back to the class choosing from a variety of methods (written report, oral presentation, poster, song, skit, poem, or rap).
B. Students will research the history of sharecropping and its connection with slavery. Students will report their findings to the class choosing from the methods listed above.
C. Using the Internet resource list and E-Library, students will research the history of the cotton gin and its effects on slavery. Students will report to the class choosing from the methods listed above.
1. Students will use the Internet to research about life during the Depression. While using the resources list provided by the teacher, the students will explore such topics as economics, living conditions, and loss of personal property.
2. Students will learn about the Depression from guest speakers who lived during that time. The students will write thank you letters to the guest speaker which will include at least one fact that they learned from the presentation.
3. With a partner, students will interview a person who lived during the Depression.
At the conclusion of the novel, each student will select a criteria card. This card will present the student with some basic facts for a main character in the story. The facts will include the character's name, geographical location, and occupation. The student will then research information about that occupation and the historical events which took place between the end of the novel and the present. The student will then create a written "biography" of the character to present to the class in an oral presentation as the character.
1. Creative and Critical Thinkers
2. Ethical and Responsible Workers
3. Culturally Sensitive Leader
Where are they going?
The Great Depression
Segregation - Then and Now