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The Freedom Writers Diary Teacher's Guideby The Freedom Writers
Synopses & Reviews
The Freedom Writers Diary Teacher's Guide takes students through a three-stage process that will maximize their understanding of The Freedom Writers Diary while supporting the central message of tolerance. For best results, I suggest that you begin teaching the Engage Your Students activities first, following the order presented-which mirrors the timeline in The Freedom Writers Diary. The activities in Enlighten Your Students and Empower Your Students can then be taught according to what best suits your individual curricular needs and weekly schedules. There are no specific time allotments designated for the activities presented in this Teacher's Guide. Teachers can implement activities in one class period or over multiple days.
The Engage, Enlighten, and Empower Model
Engage Your Students: This section includes lesson plans and activities for you to share with your students before they begin reading The Freedom Writers Diary. The goal is to establish a collaborative and supportive academic environment that will draw your students into the learning process, help them make connections between who they are as individuals and who they are as students, and encourage them to discover commonalities with their classmates.
Enlighten Your Students: This section offers lesson plans and activities that help students delve into literary themes, topics, and concepts while reading The Freedom Writers Diary, and concludes with a unit on the film, Freedom Writers (2007). Due to its range of contents, Enlighten Your Students covers various categories for ease of use: writing, vocabulary, grammar, oral communication, culminating activities, and Freedom Writers film activities. Students will practice different kinds of writing and public speaking, and become critical thinkers as they explore their own opinions, reasoning, and reactions within a real world context.
Empower Your Students: This section encourages students to achieve positive changes in themselves and in their communities by bringing the outside world into the classroom, and taking their classroom into the world. Nontraditional activities, such as inviting a guest speaker into class or taking a field trip, can expose students to new social and academic perspectives.
The Teachers Guide promotes a holistic approach to language arts: We integrate reading, writing, vocabulary, and grammar with a variety of learning modalities, all focused on a common theme. Each lesson plan for the Engage, Enlighten, and Empower sections of the book contains five important educational elements: implementing different learning modalities, the use of visual graphics, journal writing, adherence to academic standards, and authentic assessment. What follows are brief introductions to each of these elements.
Many of the Freedom Writers struggled with learning disabilities (dyslexia) or behavioral challenges (Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). In addition, some were English Language Learners. As a new teacher, I desperately tried a variety of ways to engage my students and bring my activities to life.
Little did I know that my wacky idea of bringing in two sandwiches and some clumsy drawings of sandwich ingredients to teach about wr
The Freedom Writers Diary Teacher's Guide takes students through a three-stage process that will maximize their understanding of The Freedom Writers Diary while supporting the central message of tolerance. Fo
Designed for educators by the teacher who nurtured and created the Freedom Writers, this standards-based teachers' guide includes innovative teaching techniques that will engage, empower, and enlighten.
In response to thousands of letters and e-mails from teachers across the country who learned about Erin Gruwell and her amazing students in The Freedom Writers Diary, Erin Gruwell and a team of teacher experts have written The Freedom Writers Diary Teacher's Guide, a book that will encourage teachers and students to expand the walls of their classrooms and think outside the box.
Here Gruwell goes in-depth and shares her unconventional but highly successful educational strategies and techniques (all 150 of her students who had been deemed un-teachable graduated from Wilson High School): from her very successful toast for change (an exercise in which Gruwell exhorted her students to leave the past behind and start fresh) to writing exercises that focus on the importance of journal writing, vocabulary, and more.
In an easy-to-use format with black-and-white illustrations, this teachers' guide will become the essential go-to manual for teachers who want to make a difference in their pupils' lives and create students who will make a difference.
Table of Contents
Freshman year-Fall of 1994 — Freshman year-Spring 1995 — Sophomore year-Fall 1995 — Sophomore year-Spring 1996 — Junior Year-Fall 1996 — Junior year-Spring 1997 — Senior year-Fall 1997 — Senior year-Spring 1998
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