The Butterfly Project II

During the Holocaust unit with the Butterfly Project I discussed yesterday, I also do the following:

  • show Schindler’s List after school,
  • have the students compose a diction analysis with The Chosen,
  • show (in a period) the Oprah episode with Eli Wiesel revisiting Buchenwald,
  • have the students write a reaction to Night to their parents (and have the parents respond to the students and then a final student reaction to the parents),
  • show The Pianist after school.

So far, the unit has gone exceedingly well. We finish The Chosen tomorrow night and then will take a partner exam this Friday (over the two books) after reviewing for two days.

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8 thoughts on “The Butterfly Project II

  1. tamaraeden

    Have shown Schindler’s list once.

    Will look into your Chosen assignment

    Need to still get that Oprah episode. I do show when she went to South Africa depending on time of year 🙂

    I teach Night as well.

    Took almost 100 kids to the Museum of Tolerance 2 years ago, working on that field trip again. 🙂

    I like your style 🙂

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Hi, Doc. I like the assignment, except the part where you gave the parents homework. I have three kids in school (11, 15, 18), and this trend for the kids to bring home assignments for the parents is growing. It annoys the heck out of me, and I’m an educator! You know how kids are, too. I’ll hear about the assignment ten minutes after their bedtime, or I’m just settling down to grade papers, or my wife and I finally are able to talk about our days, and, wham! there’s some homework that my child needs me to do.

    Of course, I’m annoyed by fifteen different teachers sending home packets of their classroom expectations for me to read and sign at the beginning of the semester, or all the forms the schools have me refill out that are exactly the same as the ones they already have on file (I feel this way at the doctor’s office too, about the repeated forms).

    I don’t know if there’s a solution. I might just be a cranky person.

    Reply
  3. mrschili

    Doc, do you “do” anything with the after school movies? I used to show clips of Schindler’s List as writing prompts, but I’ve never worked with the whole film.

    Reply
  4. drpezz Post author

    Tamara, I think you and I may be kindred spirits. 🙂

    Anon, the parents were quite appreciative of the homework (maybe surprisingly). I received quite a few notes to me as well because the high school is not always known for involving the parents. Some of the parents were impressed with their students’ empathy, with the students’ depth of thought (maybe products are not shared often at home), and with the conversation the parent and student had. I would definitely limit the length of the parents’ responsibility, but I would definitely repeat this assignment.

    Mrs. Chili, when I show show films outside of class I consider it enrichment only. Sometimes I just want the students to experience the film, and I do think (as an English teacher) over-analysis can suck the joy right out of an experience. In class, however, anything shown has something else attached to it, even if it’s simply a reaction. Generally, I use in-class viewings to spark a discussion or a short writing.

    Reply
  5. drpezz Post author

    The kids instantly start chatting about it during the intermission (I always stop it half-way to allow for a break) and after the film. Usually they stay for a while asking questions and reacting. It’s great!

    Reply
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