YAL - Young Adult Literature Presenter Unit 2009/2010



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Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago
by LeAlan Jones, Lloyd Newman and David Isay


YAL Presenter Unit 2009/2010

Subjects: English
Grade Level: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Posted: 2009
Unit Created by: Polly Mills and Germania Solórzano

What makes this a good YAL choice...

Our America is a good YAL book because it was written from sound recordings made by two high school boys interviewing and recording community members in CHA housing in response to the death of a child at the hands of another. It presents teachers and students with opportunities to explore ways students can use high or low tech to document their own communities, discovering and interpreting themes, editing for understanding, negotiating audience, and using technology. The process allows opportunities for classrooms to consider approaches for interviewing, including developing good questions, finding best approaches for initiating and developing interviewees, presenting findings, and responding to findings. — Polly Mills


YAL Conference Workshop Description & Documents
Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago
Polly Mills and Germania Solórzano, Presenters

Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago is a compilation of interviews conducted by LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman, who were both in high school at the time of its creation. By using this text, we are purposely valuing the voices and perspectives of young people in the exploration of their worlds. This text will be used to introduce the idea of the documentary and the act of documenting. We will brainstorm on topics to be documented, as well as look at forms of documentary: photography, radio, film/video, published interviews, etc. Our hope is to inspire teachers to set up their own documentary projects in their classrooms, where students will research and present on what is important to them. — Workshop Description for YAL 2009


Conference Workshop Lesson Plan

One Day Lesson Plan for CPS (Chicago Public Schools)

Media from Workshop Presentation

What to? Document


Posters - David Isay Talks about the Project

Presentation Forms

Assessment Document