It's two days before Winter Break, and a good deal of my students have already started their holidays. In anticipation of low attendance in some classes, I am reluctant to plan and deliver a lesson that will need to be largely retaught when we return after our two weeks off.
Thus, today in class we will read chapter 15 of Bad Boy, "Dr. Holiday," out loud as a whole group, which is an assignment that can be easily made up by any student who is not present today. I will share in the oral reading with students, and we can move through the chapter at a leisurely pace, stopping to discuss key points, as well as exploring some of the cultural references Myers mentions in the chapter, such as:
It will also be worth pausing on the passage about Mama, acknowledging the tribute he pays to her, and how it gives us an opportunity to look back at the passage my students reflected on from chapter two, as he is first learning to read under the guidance of his mother. In that chapter, he writes "Years later, when I had learned to use words better, I lost my ability to speak so freely with Mama" (15). I am hoping that my students will see how chapter 15 addresses what the passage from chapter two foreshadows.
Chapter 15 ends with Dr. Holiday asking Myers, "Do you like being black?" (173). This strikes me as a good question to have open as I transition into the PBS interview with Walter Dean Myers.
We will close class today with this brief PBS feature on Walter Dean Myers. My students should enjoy finally "meeting" him, as the interview addresses many of the events and musings that he develops in the book.
Before my students leave class, I remind them that their Winter Break homework is to finish reading the last four chapters of the book.