7 Tech Tips for Your Next Read-Aloud

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/7-tech-tips-read-aloud

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Part 2: High School Students Write Essays on Kendrick Lamar’s album, To Pimp A Butterfly

All educators should read this.

Brian Mooney

“Over 40 years, we’ve made changes in this country, but did we make a change in the heart of the individual?” – Jalen (9th grade)

Since my last post about teaching Kendrick Lamar’s new album, To Pimp A Butterfly (2015) in the high school classroom, many people from around the world, including educators and music fans alike, have asked me to share some of my students’ writing. In this post, I will highlight some passages from their writing.

Part I includes writing from student essays comparing To Pimp A Butterfly (2015), by Kendrick Lamar and The Bluest Eye (1970), by Toni Morrison.

Part II includes writing from commentary responses on the class blog, in which students responded to the album cover and first three tracks on TPAB, with a special focus on the track titled “King Kunta.”

It’s important to note the following:

  • I used pseudonyms to protect the anonymity of…

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Why I Dropped Everything And Started Teaching Kendrick Lamar’s New Album

All educators should read this.

Brian Mooney

When Kendrick Lamar released his sophomore album, To Pimp A Butterfly (2015), I was in the middle of teaching a unit on Toni Morrison’s novel, The Bluest Eye (1970). My freshmen students were grappling with some big ideas and some really complex language. Framing the unit as an “Anti-Oppression” study, we took special efforts to define and explore the kinds of institutional and internalized racism that manifest in the lives of Morrison’s African-American characters, particularly the 11-year-old Pecola Breedlove and her mother, Pauline. We posed questions about oppression and the media – and after looking at the Dick & Jane primers that serve as precursors to each chapter, considered the influence of a “master narrative” that always privileges whiteness.

Set in the 1940s, the Breedlove family lives in poverty. Their only escape is the silver screen, a place where they idolize the glamorous stars of the film industry. Given the historical context…

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