Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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8. Regional Realism   



8. Regional
Realism


•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities
- Overview Questions
- Video
Activities
- Author
Activities
- Context
Activities
- Creative Response
- PBL Projects

Activities: Problem-Based Learning Projects

""How can I get my students to think?" is a question asked by many faculty, regardless of their disciplines. Problem-based learning (PBL) is an instructional method that challenges students to "learn to learn," working cooperatively in groups to seek solutions to real world problems. These problems are used to engage students' curiosity and initiate learning the subject matter. PBL prepares students to think critically and analytically, and to find and use appropriate learning resources." -- Barbara Duch, University of Delaware

  1. Imagine you and your peers serve on the curriculum committee at your high school or college. A group of parents, students, and teachers has recently circulated a petition to remove Huckleberry Finn from the school's reading lists and library because of its racist language and offensive representations of African Americans. Other parents, students, and teachers have sent in letters insisting that the novel is a literary masterpiece and demanding that it continue to be taught at your school. Your committee is going to hold a community meeting to decide the issue. Take a side in the debate and prepare a presentation to articulate your point of view. How will you make your argument for or against Huckleberry Finn? What kind of evidence will you cite to support your claim for either the book's educational value or its inappropriateness? How will you construct your argument so it will address the concerns of parents and teachers as well as students?

  2. The Native Americans at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota have decided to sue the government agents and missionaries who insist on taking young Indian children to mission schools and boarding schools at which they are forced to practice Euro-American customs. The Pine Ridge Indians have hired you as their legal team. How will you prepare your prosecution of the government and missionaries? What kinds of evidence will you use in the case? Whom will you call as witnesses?



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