Reflection: Diverse Entry Points Sonny's Blues - Section 3: Short Film


Where would I be without my beloved YouTube?  How did I survive all those years as a teacher without it?

Perhaps I exaggerate, but access to YouTube has opened up the potential of reaching so many more students by appealing to differing learning styles with ease like no other avenue.  When I am able to layer my lessons with a dose of more than one information delivery system, I can see the results immediately: the visual learners sit up a bit straighter and tend to participate more readily in post-discussion of a viewing.

In this particular instance, I believe my students received the best of both worlds.  They were exposed to a rich, complex text that we were able to effectively discuss and analyze, and then the short film allowed for what might have remained an incomplete thematic exploration of a complex text its full due.  As proof, in each of my classes, my students were able to see Myers in both Sonny and in his brother, to see how the potential in Sonny was evident in his skill as a musician, and to ultimately see how a story such as Sonny's gave Myers the permission to tell similar stories of his experience of growing up in Harlem.

Long live YouTube. 

  I. Love. Youtube.
  Diverse Entry Points: I. Love. YouTube.
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Sonny's Blues

Unit 6: Bad Boy Part II
Lesson 4 of 11

Objective: SWBAT read the introduction of "Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin, then view a short-film adaptation of the story, in order to make connections to Walter Dean Myers' Bad Boy.

Big Idea: Students practice making connections, both text-to-text and film-to-text.

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