Both Maura Moritz and Anne Smith have their ninth grade honors classes (Maura's class blog, Anne's class blog) blogging about 1984. I think that’s good – and a little ironic – in and of itself, but the really cool thing is that they invited the parents to read the novel and blog along with them. The reactions from parents were interesting. Some were very supportive and excited, others were, well, defensive I guess (“I don’t have time”, etc.). Both Maura and Anne made it clear that this was optional on the part of parents, but they highly encouraged them to participate if they could. Both to get a better idea of what their students were learning about, but also to be able to provide a different perspective for these students, most of whom were born in 1991 or 1992. Keep in mind that not only was that over forty years after 1984 was written, and seven-plus years after the year 1984, but they were born after the Berlin Wall came down.
Maura and Anne started out by having the students watch Apple’s 1984 commercial, then watching the Hillary Clinton 1984 attack ad on YouTube. It was very interesting to read the students’ take on these (pretty unaware of the context of both of them), and then have some parents chime in with more information. It will be interesting to see how the parents who have chosen to participate keep up over the course of the unit.
I also like how the students provided some blogging expectations for their parents. The students are also doing some nice scribe posting for this unit.
Image Citation: 1984, originally uploaded by Mushroom and Rooster.