I previously posted about the possibility of losing more than one great teacher at my high school because of the administration, and now it’s official. Math Genius left and now Promising accepted a job just down the road. In a conversation with my wife and I, Promising said the administration’s attempts to force him to teach what he wasn’t hired to do was the deciding factor.
Two novels I taught this year were To Kill A Mockingbird and A Gathering of Old Men. Prior to and during reading these novels, I had the kids look at some songs, poems, and historical context. Here are a few of my favorite things concerning the race relations in the novels. Continue reading
Today we started the film The Matrix and the kids are enthralled. What a great feeling to know they are learning the literary devices and analyzing while enjoying the process.
Also, I introduced the double-entry journal, the Christ-like character attributes, and the heroic cycle. Everyone dove right in to the the work.
While watching the film I paused the DVD a few times, so the kids could jot down lines of foreshadowing (“You’re my savior, man! My Jesus Christ.”) and allusions (like the white rabbit). We’re off to a great start!
I purchased some movie units from Michael Vetrie, an alternative high school teacher in Sun Valley, CA, and I’m going to try one tomorrow. I will show The Matrix in half-hour segments, so the students can do the following:
- compose a double-entry journal,
- study the film using literary terms,
- analyze critical quotations in the novel
- plot how Neo follows the heroic cycle,
- list the ways Neo could be considered a Christ-like character, and
- look at how the directors use specific camera shots for effect.
I’m hoping the students will become more engaged because of the use of film even though I’m still teaching the same skills. All told, I’m figuring a week will be needed to complete this single film unit.
I did have to send permission forms to parents since the film is rated ‘R,’ but each student’s parent signed the form. I’m hopeful this could open a means of including more types of literature in our courses. If it grabs the students’ attention and can enhance, enrich, or supplement the current curriculum, I’m all for it.
I guess the question remains: would you choose the red pill or the blue pill?
P.S. My favorite line is when the Oracle says to Neo, “Ohh, what’s really going to bake your noodle later on is, would you still have broken it if I hadn’t said anything?”