Michelle Jones’ Grade 10 English class had visitors from Facing History and Ourselves, Roger Brooks, CEO/President; Anne-Marie Fitzgerald, Chief Officer of Regional Operations; and Michael McIntyre, Sr. Programme Coordinator, UK.
The visitors thoroughly enjoyed the class’ analysis and comparison of individual chapters from “The Great Gatsby” and “To Kill a Mockingbird”, looking at how the authors used different elements of class to develop context. The lesson used elements of Design Thinking, and the Facing History literary model, to bring to life the role of individual choice in the justice system.
Students have been examining the way in which F. Scott Fitzgerald and Harper Lee present and develop "fringe elements" in their respective texts. The students are looking at "fringe elements" resulting from race, gender, and socio-economic status primarily.
They have also found the respective socio-economic contexts of these books interesting to compare as they are so polarised: The wealthy socialites of 20s New York vs. the poor, marginalised communities of the 30s South. These contexts have opened discussions related to the consequences of the 1929 Wall Street Crash, Jim Crow Laws, and rise of immigration during this period.