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Alex Haley Teacher Resources
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Students read a variety of biographies to gain insight on the experiences of an African-American's life. Individually, they try to determine the time period it was written and compare the event with ones that occured in their own lives. In their journals, they create a list of the contributions and achievements of African-Americans of which they read.
Students are introduced to the characteristics of an autobiography. For each author, they research their life and works and discuss why it reflects different time periods of African-Americans. In groups, they brainstorm characteristics of a character and the setting they are going to use in writing their fictional autobiography. To end the lesson, they share their writings with the class.
Students identify racial stereotypes in advertisements from the past and survey their sources and implications. They compare advertisements from the past with those of today using similar approaches and create an original advertisement and subject it to the same analysis.
Students examine the time period of the Harlem Renaissance. In groups, they compare and contrast the type of art before and after the movement along with the state of society at the time. After reading a book on the topic of their choice, they answer comprehension questions and research a topic using the internet for their final project.
Pupils engage in a lesson that is concerned with the concept of West African Art. They conduct research using a variety of resources. They focus upon the history, geography, economics, and political systems. The information is used to create class presentations or have class discussion.
Third graders study Cinco de Mayo as a patriotic Mexican Holiday. First, they work in pairs to write about and illustrate one thing they do on the Fourth of July. They listen to a reading about Cinco de Mayo before writing about and illustrating things that occur on Cinco de Mayo. Finally, they compare the two holidays and participate in a Cinco de Mayo celebration.
Young scholars study folktales and other stories from West Africa. By hearing and reading these stories they explore many new cultural and religious beliefs, such as spirits inhabiting nature and possessing special powers. Once the students become familiar with these, they go to the gallery with some knowledge and background of the culture that created the works of art.
Tenth graders read "Beloved" by Toni Morrison. In groups, they research the life and works of Morrison and read a speech by Sojouner Truth. Using the novel, they discuss the experiences of slaves and the effect of slavery on their families. They share their journal entries as they read the novel to end the lesson.
Seventh graders read "Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank. In groups, they discuss the reasons why people would write an autobiography and identify their own identity crisis. After reading excerpts of other autobiographies, they attempt to write their own and if comfortable share it with the class.