Great Oaks CommUNITY Read: Spring 2021
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Rationale: For many years, Scarlet Oaks has had much success with their annual Senior Read program. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many changes to the field of education, but also highlighted certain aspects that should remain. More than ever, our students and communities feel the disconnect brought on by social distancing, lockdowns, and quarantines. While life generally moves at a break-necking pace, the pandemic has, in some ways, forced us to slow down and prioritize our efforts on what is really important. The heart of our English 12 curriculum focuses on increasing the skillset commonly referred to as “Adulting” so that our students leave our classrooms (or Zoom sessions) having the capability to be successful in the real world, no matter what it looks like. The many themes present in Tuesdays with Morrie are relevant to growing, changing, maturing, and evolving into the adults we will become. This document is referred to as the “CommUNITY Curriculum” that you, the teacher, should utilize for your lessons, assignments, and activities in your classroom environment.
Learning Targets: Through this unit, students will be able to:
- Think critically and communicate ideas about abstract concepts such as love, success, and “living” through discussion and written reflection.
- Build off of others’ ideas by making thematic connections from text to self and other texts through written reflection and oral discussion.
- Compare and contrast multiple perspectives on key themes and concepts.
- Analyze and explain the impact/influence multi-generational relationships can have, such as that between Morrie and Mitch
- Define what a tribute is and create one
- Essential Questions: Throughout the designated section, students should ponder the essential questions. These questions can jumpstart or guide student-led/teacher-facilitated discussion.
- Enrichment Activities: This section contains assignments and activities that will help guide your students to deepen their understanding of what they are reading in the novel. Everything from poetry, songs, TED Talks, informational articles, etc. are included in this section.
- Making Connections to 21st century skills, Social-Emotional Learning, and “Adulting”: This section is intended to help you further the “WHY” discussion with your students. The knowledge and skills they will learn through this unit can be applied to many aspects of their life.
|Reading Section||Essential Questions||Enrichment Activities by Section/Chapter||Making Connections|
Pre Reading & p.1-47
|Section 3 p.80-114||
Culminating Project/Assessment of Learning: Tribute to a Teacher
This is ideally the final project your seniors will complete before graduation. They should view this project as a way to show their appreciation to someone that has helped them along their journey. It is important to stress to students that the person they choose does not have to be a teacher, but anyone they have learned a significant amount from in life. Remind them that Mitch often referred to Morrie as “Coach” and Morrie referred to Mitch as “Player”.
Other Instructional Practices:
Below is a list of other activities and assignments that have been successful for teachers in the past. These were not included as part of the CommUNITY Curriculum because we recognize that we cannot include everything within this curriculum. Utilize these resources as needed or desired based on your teaching style and learning environment.
- Reading Guide→ great for comprehension checks, beneficial for students with IEPs (our ISs have asked us to give a Reading Guide for every novel we do for years)
- Text Rendering Protocol: Great activity to spark conversation and identify what stood out to students the most
- Life Lessons From Tuesdays With Morrie – ReadWriteThink: a list of Morrie’s aphorisms
- Tuesday Talks: Ground Rules for student led discussions
- Tuesday Topic Journal Prompts: use to jumpstart thinking for Tuesday Talks or as a bellringer
- Lessons on Living: Organizer to accompany “Tuesday Talks”
- Audio Versions of the text:
- SuperSoul Sunday with Oprah and Mitch Albom
- Create your own Aphorism Project with Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening Components
Opportunities for cross campus student interaction and connection:
- Twitter: #TuesdayTalk weekly prompts
- Padlet: opportunity for an ongoing discussion
- “When Youth Meets Old Age” Contest
Opportunity for reflection on teaching and share feedback→ “Tuesday Teacher Talk” or T3
- Zoom meetings open to all teachers to share, seek or provide feedback
- 2:30-3:30pm on the following dates:
- Getting Started: Tuesday, March 9th
- How’s it Going: Tuesday, April 13th
- How did it Go: Tuesday, May 4th
- Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/92569624108?pwd=c3FELyt1Ym9Yb1pCc0JzWjFoUHFVQT09