Thursday, October 9: Labels and Language

Today, we began examine how words, which in our memoir unit were used to unite, can be used to divide, discriminate, and hurt.

1. On loose-leaf paper, students responded in writing to the following:

After discussing memoirs, we’ve learned that reading and writing personal stories helps us connect to and understand others.

But what criteria do people use to unfairly judge others? In other words, what do people base their judgments on?

(Think about society as a whole, now and through history).

2. We shared out these categories as a class, examining and breaking down each in a discussion.

3. Students then wrote down the one category they felt was most personal to their interests.

4. We then broke out into groups, writing down what others might say to judge these categories. These were sometimes words that are hurtful and we are trying to raise awareness about how these words should not be used. (More information about this project will come home with your child tomorrow.)

5. We then rotated around to the different categories, and wrote down three words, explaining on our paper why we chose them and how they relate to our lives. (7th period will do this tomorrow — instead, we wrote a short narrative about a time we were called a name and it hurt.)

6. Students turned in their writing as they left. I am proud of everyone for their maturity and civility when dealing with this difficult subject!

HW: None.