Black & White:
The Confrontation between Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth
and Eugene “Bull” Connor
By Larry Dane Brimner
Because student questions are the beginning point of learning, the following activities use student reactions and thoughts as the starting point for a deeper look at Black & White and the history behind the interaction of Fred Shuttlesworth and Eugene ‘Bull’ Connor. The suggested activities are based on Kathy Short’s cycle of inquiry (2009) and are meant to encourage critical thinking about the book, the historical period and the characters portrayed.
Use one of the response strategies to look at the book as a whole, or use different strategies for various chapters, choosing at least one from each category in order to push student thinking. You can find further information and examples of these strategies in Creating Classrooms for Authors and Inquirers (Short & Harste, 1996) or on Kathy Short’s website http://uacoe.arizona.edu/short/strategies.htm
Connections give readers an entry point into the narrative. Through connections they can understand or empathize with a character or event because of an experience in their own personal history.
- Post-Full Thinking: students read the assigned section, placing post-it notes on pages or photos that make them think of something that happened to them, to friends or families, or in another book they have read. In small discussion groups, students take turns sharing their post-it notes and connections.
- Graffiti Board: each person in the group takes a corner of a big sheet of paper and records in graffiti-fashion their responses to the book. It can be quotes, sketches or connections, with the focus on initial responses to the book. Group members then share their graffiti, possibly followed by charting or webbing to organize their connections.
- Collage Reading: students mark quotes in the book that are significant. One person starts by reading a quote. The student may leave it at that, or may choose to add a brief comment about the personal significance of the quote. Another student then jumps in with a significant quote. There is no discussion of the quotes until after anyone who wishes has shared their selection with the group or class.
Download these activities and more in the Black and White Teacher’s Guide.
Save the date! June 23, 2012 Nonfiction Book Blast 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.