The Teachers & Writers Guide to Frederick Douglass
Edited by Wesley Brown
Publication Date: Sep 01, 2000
List Price: $15.95
Format: Paperback, 128 pages
Imprint: Teachers and Writers Collaborative
Publisher: Teachers and Writers Collaborative
Parent Company: Teachers and Writers Collaborative
Some essays are personal accounts of teaching experiences and reflect on the meaning of Douglass to students being educated in America. Others offer lesson plans for teaching Douglass with samples of student poems and narratives inspired by the readings. Contributors include Lorenzo Thomas, Margot Fortunato Galt, Ron Padgett, and Marvin Hoffman.
Christina Davis, Chris Edgar and Ron Padgett collaborate on a comprehensive outline for teaching writing through Douglass’ Narrative, entitled Thirty-Two Writing Ideas Using Douglass’ Narrative. The exercises are appropriate for all levels of education, and there are between one and nine ideas for each chapter, with the emphasis being on chapters two, seven, and ten.
There are many detailed lesson plans and astute observations that make Opal Palmer Adisa’s essay a lovely read. Her work with upper elementary - high school students focuses on using the narrative to incite students to write about their own lives, but the emphasis for Adisa is not only on Douglass. She weaves in texts from the Harlem Renaissance and Sojourner Truth to cultivate a more complete sense of the Black struggle to which Douglass speaks.
Margot Fortunate Galt designs her essay for upper elementary through high school students learning the ballad. From the beginning of her essay, Galt concisely establishes time frames for her lessons, with steps, goals and ideas for incorporating music and performance. The attention she pays to meter, rhyme, and syntax shows in the care her students put into their own poems.
Lorenzo Thomas’ account of his students’ touching reception of Douglass is a joyful reminder of why we teach and value the written word. While there are no "lesson plans" in this entry, Thomas is sure to inspire many teachers with his reflections and analysis of Douglass’ work.
Charles Kuner approaches teaching to write historical letters and map stories in the bilingual classroom with thoughtfulness and respect for his students. His own stories about how meaningful Douglass’ words and experiences were to them are enforced by samples of their writing. This essay is about his high school students, but it could be interpreted for any level.
A delightful account of teaching Douglass to a group of inner-city eleventh graders, Marvin Hoffman shares how he gathers the efforts of his students to savor the text through reading aloud and composing a letter to Douglass’ mother. Student samples included.