- 1. North-South Wright Connection
Shelia BonnerBob DarraghKristine FieldsEmily RobbinsMatt Presser
2. Common Thread
Our job as English teachers is to [inspire] our students to become lifelong readers. If Richard Wright isnt a model of that, then I dont know what is.
Frazier OLeary, Teacher in Washington D.C.
4. Project Overview
Our project centers on pairing texts to foster collaboration and discussion across the country. We will accomplish this through a pair of units:
Almos a Man and Coming of Age Short Story Unit
Letter Writing Project
Jazz Poetry Unit
5. North-South Letter Writing
New Haven, CT North Branford, CT Goodman, MS (urban JH)(suburban HS) (rural CC)
Cross-age: JH/HS students can see older students who value reading and can contribute a more youthful perspective in line with that of the protagonists of the stories. CC students can see value in mentorship and service and can contribute reflective responses.
Cross-regional: JH/HS students will be studying civil rights via Emmett Till and will value the perspective of Mississippians today. CC students might not know much of the North either and can also reflect back on changes in their communities.
Cross-historical: All students can track changes or lack of change in culture and political environment over time.
6. North-South Letter Writing
N. Branford, CT
New Haven, CT
7. Introductory Letter Writing
Two letters each written and mailed using pseudonyms
1) JH/HS > CC
Introduction of self / asking about changing nature of civil rights in Mississippi
2) CC >JH/HS
Introduction of self / discussion of changing Mississippi / mention of Im about to read this story by an author named Richard Wright, who grew up miles from my college. Im hoping youll read it with me
104 Tuscaloosa Street
Goodman, MS 78790
I am a 12-year-old boy living in New Haven, CT. I was recently reading about the tension in the South during the pre-civil rights era. I am wondering whether things have changed. Also, I know you go to college, and Im wondering is it worth it to work this hard?
9. Letter Writing Project
104 Bulldog Street
New Haven, CT 06511
I am a student at Jackson Community College. Here is all of my worldly wisdom.
10. Bringing in Wright
All groups will read the same story, The Man Who Was Almost A Man.
JH students will post questions online through A.nnotate.com following a discussion of factual, conceptual, and evaluative questions.
HS and CC students will join the dialogue, positing answers to questions and posting ones of their own. This will spark an online dialogue, bringing together a variety of perspectives almos adults in Connecticut with adults in Mississippi.
Individual focused class discussions will be held, drawing from annotations made by both other classes and themselves and teacher-generated questions.
11. Shared Annotation
12. Letter Writing
After class discussion, letter writing will continue. Students will write accordingly:
3) JH/HS > CC
Comments on the story that was mutually read
4) CC >JH/HS
Thats great that you are reading this story sounds like youre going to be well-prepared for college here are some other stories that you might enjoy reading
13. Making Connections
For the sake of pairing and making connections, students will read Salvation by C. Liegh McInnis a more contemporary Southern story and possibly Raymonds Run by Toni Cade Bambara a more contemporary text with a female protagonist. Letter writing will continue depending on the success of the early collaboration.
Teachers can select from a range of texts to pair with Wrights short story. We have included a number of texts and films for reference.
14. Skype Interview
Our final digital collaboration will involve the opportunity to speak with the author of Salvation in person in Mississippi and via Skype in Connecticut. We will post a recording of the interview to the site for other viewing. This will also provide the chance for students to see those with whom theyve communicated.