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Teaching American African Males Using Short Stories

Author: Keysiah M. Middleton


John Bartram High School

Year: 2012

Seminar: "But Mostly I Lie A Lot" - The African American Short Story in the 21st Century

Grade Level: 9-12

Keywords: African American males, African American short stories, short stories

School Subject(s): English, Literature, Poetry

“Teaching American African Males Using the Short Story” will focus on actively engaging males, specifically American African males in student-centered group dialogue that will build on critical thinking skills using short stories. This is in an effort to not only enrich our American African male students’ learning experiences by exposing them to stories and the testimonies of others to empower them with better coping skills but also to get our young men thinking more critically about issues that affect them as urban center dwellers. Studies have shown that there is a clear connection between critical thinking and proper decision making. This unit will incorporate primarily short stories, short films and music that attempt to address some of the many issues, trials and tribulations that our young men consistently face in their daily struggle to survive in their present environments. Such concerns include the more visible issues like: the sale and use of narcotics, gun violence, teenage pregnancy and promiscuity, the high school dropout versus the high school graduate, unemployment, and escaping poverty. Other subliminal, but more pertinent issues that these stories will attempt to engage our young men in are the concept of manhood and growing into it, economic empowerment, spiritual enrichment as well as finding their own identity in communities where peer pressure carries some significant weight. The hope is to have our young men draw on various written, visual and audio perspectives of these issues and gather additional analytical insight.

Download Unit: Middleton-unit.pdf

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