I am reflecting on my lesson plans for the upcoming year, and I always want to improve on them to make better connections with my students. I begin my year with the classic book, The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton because this is required summer reading. For those who actually read the book, we make connections because it touches on their sense of identity and every student has a story about being an outsider.
Last year, we had ‘Character Day’ and students could dress up as their favorite character. I was impressed with one student’s approach to being a Greaser (and how much he loved his cat 🙂
As this picture reveals, students relate to the Greasers, not the Socs, because they are the ones who are misunderstood and disenfranchised. Everyone has experienced these feelings so we can all make connections with each other. So, this unit helps me expand awareness that all people have common life experiences both positive and negative, which promotes empathy in the classroom. A powerful way to begin the year and I am looking forward to improving on this through authentic experiences.