YAL - Young Adult Literature Presenter Unit 2014/2015



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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
by Benjamin Alire Sáenz


YAL Presenter Unit 2014/2015

Subjects: English
Grade Level: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Posted: 2014, CCSS, Common Core State Standards
Unit Created by: Jeremy Babcock

What makes this a good YAL choice...

“Why do we smile? Why do we laugh? What is that thing in the pit of your stomach called desire?” Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a roadmap that reminds us to not only ask questions, but to dig deeper and ask the ones that really matter. I was originally drawn to this book because the title and the premise piqued my curiosity. After multiple reads, I feel a sense of urgency in sharing a story that provides a lifeline for students who feel marginalized and at the mercy of others’ ideas. Creating a sense of community in our classrooms is imperative and this book is, at the very least, a way to start conversations that mean something. — Jeremy Babcock


YAL Conference Workshop Description
The Secrets of the Universe Explained: Uncovering Authentic Self Through Story (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe)
Jeremy Babcock, Presenter

Drawing on themes that emerge from the book, workshop participants are invited to explore ways to ask meaningful questions and embrace the stories that emerge from the answers. Utilizing improvisational theatre and cooperative learning activities to guide the group, we will focus on: discovering and sharing personal narratives, developing creative ways to process experiences with students, creating classroom community where all are invited to participate, and using techniques for helping students to find their voice and the courage to share out. Participants will leave with a greater understanding of the text and tangible ways to inspire students to show and share personal narratives. — Workshop Description for YAL 2014


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