Friday, 5 October 2012

Common Core Practice | Floating Buddhas, MacArthur ‘Geniuses’ and Fracking

Today's Common Core Practice from Sarah Gross, Jonathan Olsen, and The Learning Network includes narrative, informative, and argumentative writing tasks. 

Floating Buddhas so inspired Sarah and Jonathan's students "that they have designed a challenge for students (and adults) everywhere: find a piece of “art” (however you define it) in your own surroundings, and post a photo of it to Twitter with the hashtag #art4meThey hope to 'see how far this project will travel,' so consider joining in!"

Librado Romero/The New York Times

Chang Jin-Lee’s inflatable Buddha sculpture, called “Floating Echo,”
is anchored on the East River at Socrates Sculpture Park
in Long Island City, Queens. Go to related article »

MacArthur ‘Geniuses’ tells students that “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction (can win) $100,000 per year for five years" and asks them to "propose a dream project that you hope the MacArthur Foundation would help fund."

Fracking refers students to the article Shift by Cuomo on Gas Drilling Prompts Both Anger and Praise, as well as a video and an earlier lesson plan, and asks them to "write a letter to the editor of The New York Times explaining whether Governor Cuomo should allow fracking to occur in New York State, (using) evidence from the article to support your argument."

"Winning!" again, with this great resource at The New York Times.

Banned Books Week

It's the next-to-last day of Banned Books Week, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The event is sponsored by the American Library Association, and recognizes the importance of the freedom to read.

I've always been amazed at the books that have been banned in one place or another. Here are just some of the books that were banned or challenged from 2000 to 2009:

A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
Goosebumps series, by R.L. Stine
Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
Junie B. Jones series, by Barbara Park

Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
The Fighting Ground, by Avi

The Giver, by Lois Lowry
The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

Yes...classics, favorite children's books, and many books that we read to and with our students and love ourselves!

Award-winning broadcast journalist Bill Moyers talks about how libraries provided his first opportunity to indulge his love of reading and learning, and shares his dismay over efforts to remove books from schools and libraries in modern times. Watch the essay, titled “The Bane of Banned Books," below: 

This letter from author Pat Conroy was published in the October 24, 2007, issue of the Charleston Gazette in West Virginia. It was written in response to his books’ permanent removal from classes at a local high school.

The National Council of Teachers of English is a co-sponsor of this year's celebration.