Topic: A View of Three Cultures through the Eyes of Three Contemporary Women Writers
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Format of the Unit
The unit is designed to be taught in phases or clearly outlined sections. The first section of the unit focuses on introducing the material to be covered. In the introduction I plan to discuss the recent changes that have taken place in the teaching of literature. I plan to share ideas that I have read on multicultural literature and how it came about. I will share viewpoints of educators and experts across the country on this approach and discuss the advantages and/or disadvantages of teaching literature from a multicultural prospective. Tying into this segment, I would talk briefly on the topic of how multiculturalism has also spilled over into the field of art. I would introduce women artists from an excellent test, coincidentally called,
Women Artists Multi-Cultural Visions
. I have selected Yolanda Lopez, of Latino descent, Mine Okabo, of Asian descent, and Elizabeth Catlett, a sculptor of African American descent. We will examine representative slides from each artist. The use of visual stimuli will enhance student interest and give them lasting impressions of the artists words. Next, I will explain the bulletin board project that we will develop throughout the unit. At first I had considered having students bring in reports and pictures of minority women in literature, the arts, and music. Then I decided that this approach may be too limited and difficult to accomplish, so I decided to broaden the range and have them bring in minority women, African American, Latino, and Asian from all fields of endeavor. In the next phase of the unit, I plan to talk about the importance of attempting to understand other cultures. In this segment students will share their ancestral backgrounds with their peers. In the next phase of the unit I will present brief cultural histories of the African American female, the Latino female, and the Asian female in the United States. This will be followed by an introduction of the three female authors whose selections we are reading and discussing in this unit. Biographical information on Toni Morrison, Denise Chavez, and Maxine Hong Kingston will be shared with students. In the final section of the unit, students will be discussing specific chapters of the three novels. During the daily discussions students will be introduced to the soft lyrics of female singers who are either African American, Latino, or Asian. Also during this section of the unit, students will complete a series of oral and written activities which will include journal writing, letter writing, the predicting of outcomes, creative writing assignments, role playing, critical writing assignments, chapter tests, and a unit exam.