Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts and Jeff at NC Teacher Stuff because I'm knee deep into my lesson planning for our last novel study of the year: Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case.
I learned about Emmett Till in high school along when we studied civil rights, so I have been surprised at how few of my workers know his story. I wondered if stories like this are often brushed under the rug in The South, much like stories about the Holocaust among Germans. People don't want to talk about shameful things that happened in the past.
After spring break (which starts on Friday, finally), we have about two weeks left of learning before finals. I knew I wanted to end the year with a whole-class novel study, and I knew I needed something super high-interest in order to motivate (and hold the attention of) my kiddos as 8th-grade-itis sets in now that the LEAP is finished.
Joel and I took one of my mentor kiddos to lunch last week for meeting her long-term behavior goal, so I used her as my litmus test and previewed the novel with her. Her eyes were glued to me as I explained what happened to Emmett Till and about how his murders avoided conviction (I'm not giving anything away; it's in the title). When I finished talking, she exclaimed, "Yes! That's the book we need to read!" So, I immediately placed my order.
I think my students are really going to devour this book, and I've found some great lesson ideas online, including a current controversy involving Lil Wayne (who is pretty much their idol). We will have so much content to discuss and debate, and I think this will be the perfect text to hold their attention for the remainder of the year?
Added bonus? It's non-fiction, which means it's perfect to add to my Common Core curriculum, AND it fits my biography unit for next year. AND my AP told me today that he will buy me a class set! Yay!