Why I Threw Out the Lesson Plan

Katniss, © Lionsgate Films

Sometimes, real life is more important than discussing Mrs. Dalloway. And if you knew how I loved that book, you’d know I am really saying something.

I invited my AP Literature and Composition class to discuss gun violence in our country. They have questions. They want to know what we are supposed to do when the fire alarm goes off if mass killers are pulling fire alarms. They want to know why this keeps happening. They want to know why people care more about their guns than they do about people’s lives.

We watched Emma González’s incredible speech, which I can also completely justify on the grounds that it’s an excellent example of the rhetorical triangle at work.

As a side note, how amazing is Emma González? When can I vote for her? She even thanked her teacher for teaching her “everything we learned.” Go, Mr. Foster! I know, I know, how very proud you are.

We signed a card with messages from our AP Lit class to the AP Lit classes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

My students who were eligible registered to vote.

I wish I could express how proud I am of my students. They have thought about this issue. They were pulling up their writing from AP Gov and sharing selections. They know the facts and statistics. Their logic is airtight. They’re going to be marching. They are going to be a part of a revolution.

2 thoughts on “Why I Threw Out the Lesson Plan”

  1. I’m so proud to be a teacher in this historical moment. Today I heard a speech from a student in my Comm 1101 class about speaking out. The student referenced the Florida students. It’s so encouraging.

    And I love days when a conversation naturally happens.

    1. Well, I really did throw out the lesson (with the students’ go-ahead because it is about their learning, and if they preferred to discuss Virginia Woolf, we would have done so). So, I suppose it was really by design, but nonetheless, I wasn’t sure how they would respond.

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