1. Resilience Unit Plan
Cindy O’Donnell Allen and Jenny St. Romain created and team taught a unit on resilience at Fossil Ridge High School. Their fulcrum text was Hamlet, and groups of students also read an outside reading book to see how resilience plays out in various ways.
They found many different lenses to consider resilience under, and put them together in a nice web page for the students to look at on the first day of the unit. I missed that aspect when I first read their unit plan, but I do see this as a unique way to start a unit. I look forward to trying this out the next time I teach a unit on resilience, and it has also inspired me to start collecting ideas related to the theme of belonging for a similar web page.
Another interesting idea from this unit plan was a comparison between Hamlet’s association with his father and Daniel Beaty’s slam poem “Knock, Knock.” Not only is the poem incredibly powerful in this regard, but it also brings into view the idea that one path to being resilient is to write down or otherwise explore your ideas on your own, “To father [yourself].”
The study of resilience and self reliance fits in perfectly with what George has to go through when making his final decision in Of Mice and Men. Was his choice resilient? It also offers a great way to talk about the events in a realistic, understanding way while bringing the question of George’s motivations up for conversation.