Blonde

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Objective

SWBAT make inferences about the cultural contexts of beauty

Big Idea

What role does beauty play in the way we treat people?

The Halo Effect

6 minutes

Class begins with a simple question:  Does a person's physical appearance change the way he is treated by other people?  Do we judge a person's character based on physical appearances?

I then play students this short corporate training video that explores the halo effect

 

 

After the video is over we have a short discussion as to whether the halo effect is real or not. Students aren't surprised by this phenomenon, but they are excited to give it a name. 

 

Close Read of Victor's Description of Elizabeth

20 minutes

Next I have students get into small groups and look at several passages from Frankenstein in paragraphs 8-11 from chapter 1, particularly the passage that describes Elizabeth Lavenza for the first time. If time allows, or to challenge students: paragraphs 3 & 4 in chapter 3. I ask students: Does Victor's description of Elizabeth support the theory of the halo effect? If so, what are it's implications  for Victor and his relationship with Elizabeth?  Students discuss the passage and take notes, then report in a whole class discussion. 

D.I.C.E - Frankenstein

5 minutes

After we have discussed the meaning of the passages and I am sure students understand the language, tone and mood; I have students complete a D.I.C.E. activity writing down what Disturbs, Interests, Confuses, and Enlightens them about the presence of the halo effect in chapter 1. Has the close read and discussion changed they way they view Elizabeth?  

DICE is an acronym for Disturbing, Interesting, Confusing, and Enlightening.  It is a way for students to methodically engage with a text, especially one that is full of facts and ideas. Using DICE students can approach the text personally, recording their reactions as they read. Each letter represents a different, correlative reaction to the text from comprehension to agreement. The idea is that these reactions on close examination can reveal deeper understandings of the text.  DICE is a good way for reluctant readers to engage with the text because it asks only what their reactions are, and the response can be as little as one word. 

Blonde

15 minutes

Next, I play Heather Cahoon's reading of "Blonde" available from Montana's Office of Public Instruction. I give students a copy of the poem from the PDF "Birthright: Born to Poetry"

Before I start her recording I ask students to make notes in the margin of the poem about their reactions as we listen. After the poem is finished I ask students about their initial reactions. 

 

D.I.C.E. Blonde

5 minutes

Next I have students re-read the poem silently to themselves and use D.I.C.E. to reflect on the poem.  

Students reflect on the sense of identity we have about ourselves and how we want others to perceive us both individually and culturally. 

If there is time, I open up the class to discussion about students' reaction to the poem and how it demonstrates an internalization of the halo effect.