shortcutNov 20, 2018
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Ninth grade students explore diversity

ELA teachers Mike Libertucci and Tracy Pontin used their 3rd quarter free reading assignment as an opportunity to help 9th graders develop a greater awareness of – and empathy for – our increasingly diverse world.

Emer O’Keeffe, high school librarian, worked with them to create a long list of titles that would appeal to students.
Students kicked off the assignment with an iceberg activity to consider which characteristics (race, culture, gender, etc.) might be visible to everyone – “above the waterline� – and which might remain below the surface. They quickly found that some of the same characteristics were placed differently, depending on one’s point of view.

Then came the fun part! At an assembly in the cafeteria, students were presented with over a hundred titles to choose from. Mr. Lib read aloud from one of his favorite books, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime�; Ms. O’Keeffe followed with a few verses from “Sold�; then Ms. Pontin shared some favorite passages from “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian.� Students spent the rest of the period looking at the books and picking one that spoke to them.

As students read their books, teachers used the theme of diversity as an umbrella for other class readings and activities (which included a visit from Thea MacFawn, co-director and founder of the Capital Region Institute for Human Rights). Students are currently working on book trailers to share with fellow students and the school community.

Find a list of titles on the library homepage, and check back soon to view the book trailers!