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TeachNet NYC  |  Lesson Plans  |  Teachnet
Having Our Say
by Bessie and Sadie Delany with Amy Hill Hearth
Objectives:
1. By reading Having Our Say  students learn about an unfortunate part of American History that is not taught fully- the effects of racism.
2. By reading the book students are reading a primary source document as it is told by tapes of the two women, an oral history format.  The book is a first-hand account of "ordinary" people's lives in this country.
3.  The extraordinary efforts of these two women through much adversity and racial prejudice should also be an inspiration ot readers.
4.  The book wil be the basis for several literary essay  and critical lens essay writing assignments.

Classwork Assignments:
1. Older people
 Write an essay about an older relative who has influenced you in a good way or in any way.

2. Background information on racial segregation in the United States

Objectives: Students will. . .
                      1. ...understand the content of the Jim Crow laws.
                      2. ...understand impact of Jim Crow laws at the time.
    A. Click on these two hot links to view photos and to read about past laws, no longer legal or in existence, that caused segregation and hardship to many Americans.  What areas of life did these laws cover?  What do you think of these laws
What are Jim Crow laws?

Photographs of signs depicting Jim Crow Laws

    B. Racial segregation actually predated the Jim Crow Laws.  Click on this link and after reading explain some early history  of racial segregation.
early segregation in baseball

    C. Read the about the legal case that enabled Jim Crow Laws to proliferate.
  Plessy versus Fergussan

    D. Ordinary Americans have been interviewed extensively on the effects of racial segreation.  Click on this link and do the assignment explained on the page.
Oral Histories on the effects of Jim Crow Laws
 

These are interviews on the same topic as those above for students who want to read more.
Oral History interviews on the effects of Jim Crow laws

    E. Compare the made-for -elevision movie with the book in an essay.

3. Literary essay writing assignments
Having Our Say by the Delaney Sisters and Ms. Hearth.
For each part of the book write at least a three paragraph  essay.  First write the controlling idea.   2nd paragraph -Write how that part # of Having Our Say supports the controlling idea.  3rd paragraph-Conclusion

Part 1 -Older people
Part 2 -the power of love
Part 3 - Happiness doesn't depend on money
Part 4 - racism
Part 5a ( to page 186) overcoming adversity
Part 5b  charity
Part 6 - death
Part 7 - make up your own

4. Critical lens essay writing assignments, using quotations. (for NY State students especially)
For each part of the book write at least a three paragraph  essay.  First write what the quote means.  Then write whether or not you agree with the quote.  2nd paragraph -Write how that part # of Having Our Say supports your opinion.  3rd paragraph-Conclusion

Part 1 -"There's no such thing as old age.  There's only sorrow."  (Edith Wharton)
Part 2 - "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it."
Part 3 - "Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads." (H.D. Thoreau)
Part 4 - The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary.  Men alone  are quite capable of every wickedness."  (Conrad)
Part 5a ( to page 186) "There comes a time in a man's life when to get where he  has to go- if there are no doors- he walks through a wall."
 (Bernard Malamud)
"Part 5b  "Charity creates a multitude of sins."  (Oscar Wilde)
Part 6 - "A man's dying  is more the survivor's affair than his own."
  (Thomas Mann)
Part 7 -"Do not go gentle into that good night.  Old age should burn and  rave at  the close of day.  Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
 (Dylan Thomas)

critical lens essay test on entire book-  "I am the captain of my ship, I am the master of my  soul." or  "There's nothing more determined than a cat on a hot tin roof."
 (Tennessee Williams)

Homework Assignments:
For each of the parts of the book (part 5 is divided into halves-split at page 186) do a double entry notebook.

Portfolio:
Students will write several drafts of their essays and theiy will choose their best 5 essays to submit.  Also students will submit final drafts of their best essays to be featured on class web site: highwired.com/fklane/e201
http://civnet.org/resoures/teach/basic/part6/33.htm
 
 

 

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