Friday, January 29, 2010

Comfort Zone

All students have a comfort zone and I enjoy dragging them out of it whenever I can. On our school email I ran across this article about a 13 year old girl who was beaten and given 60 days in jail for bringing a camera phone to class in Saudi Arabia. I found the entire story online and decided to use it and the photo of flogging for my classes.

I did this for two reasons. First, I needed to adjust my lesson plans due to the librarian breaking her leg. I was going to take my classes there to start a research paper project and she holds presentations to help them do the research. Secondly I was a bit tired of hearing about how bad our justice system was and decided to show them a bit of the real world. Yes I know that our system is flawed. But at least we don't crucify people in public.

It worked like a charm. After reading and discussing the article my students got to write a reaction to it and from what I have seen, the responses should be pretty good. And more importantly, they learned that our system is light years ahead of most countries around the world.

This week they will be coming up with ideas to help solve the budget crisis Nevada finds itself in and then writing a persuasive essay to convince the reader to adopt their plan. Hopefully they will also get into this assignment as well since they will be the ones to pay the real price next year.