Tag Archives: Asian Perspectives

‘How Far We’ve Come’

23 Jul

I am a big fan of SBS interactives, and love using them in the classroom.

I’ve recently been exploring ‘How Far We’ve Come‘ and am keen to use it as the basis for an extension activity.  In particular, I want to offer students the opportunity to explore the experiences described in the interactive and then create a play script that offers a fictional re-imagining or extension of the life of the chosen individual.  This activity would require students to transfer and extend the knowledge gleaned through close study of a dramatic text.

Pairs of texts

31 Mar

I have spent a lot of time recently thinking about interesting textual pairings for study as part of a comparative unit.  Many of my ideas are not suitable for my school context or the ability levels of my classes.  However, I do think that, in the right contexts and with the right classes, all could form the basis of interesting and engaging units.

  1. A Lesson Before Dying (novel) & To Kill a Mockingbird (film)
  2. A Long Way Gone (memoir) & Freedom Writers (film)
  3. A Long Way Gone (memoir) & Girl At War (novel)
  4. A Long Way Gone (memoir) & Hotel Rwanda (film)
  5. A Long Way Gone (memoir) & Schindler’s List (film)
  6. A Long Way Gone (memoir) & Poetry of Siegfried Sassoon (poetry)
  7. A Long Way Gone (memoir) & The Devil That Danced on Water (non-fiction)
  8. A Long Way Gone (memoir) & Poetry of Wilfred Owen (poetry)
  9. Americanah (novel) & selected episodes of Black-ish (television series)
  10. A Monster Calls (novel) & Boy (film)
  11. A Monster Calls (novel) & Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (film)
  12. A Monster Calls (novel/film) & Frankenstein (novel)
  13. And Then There Were None (novel) & Selected episodes of Trapped (television series)
  14. Animal Farm (novel) & Selection of episodes of House of Cards (television series)
  15. Antigone (play) and Home Fire (novel)
  16. Anzac Girls (television series) & Poetry of Siegfried Sassoon (poetry)
  17. Bad Feminist (collection of essays) & For Colored Girls (film)
  18. Bad Feminist (collection of essays) & When I Hit You (novel)
  19. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (novel) & Freedom Writers (film)
  20. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (novel) & The Dreamer (novel)
  21. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (novel) & The Kite Runner (film or graphic novel)
  22. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (novel) & Wadjda (film)
  23. Becoming Kirrali Lewis (novel) & Boy (film)
  24. Becoming Kirrali Lewis (novel) & The Kite Runner (graphic novel)
  25. Beloved (novel) & Dracula (novel)
  26. Beloved (novel) & Frankenstein (novel)
  27. Beloved (novel) & Icarus Girl (novel)
  28. Beloved (novel) & Uncle Tom’s Cabin (novel)
  29. Beloved (novel) & Unconfessed (novel)
  30. Boy, Snow, Bird (novel) & Americanah (novel)
  31. Boy, Snow, Bird (novel) & Selected short stories of Chinua Achebe (short stories)
  32. Boy, Snow, Bird (novel) & Desdemona (play)
  33. Boy, Snow, Bird (novel) & God Help the Child (novel)
  34. Boy, Snow, Bird (novel) & Kissing the Witch (novel)
  35. Brave New World (novel) & The Crucible (play)
  36. Brave New World (novel) & Never Let Me Go (film)
  37. Brave New World (novel) & V for Vendetta (film)
  38. Briar Rose (novel) & Grave of the Fireflies (film)
  39. Briar Rose (novel) & Lion (film)
  40. Briar Rose (novel) & Night (autobiography)
  41. Briar Rose (novel) & Schindler’s List (film)
  42. Deadline (novel) & Dead Poets Society (film)
  43. Deadline (novel) & The Fault In Our Stars (film)
  44. Deadline (novel) & The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (film)
  45. Deadly, Unna? (novel) & A United Kingdom (film)
  46. Deadly, Unna? (novel) & Hairspray (film)
  47. Deadly, Unna? (novel) & Invictus (film)
  48. Deadly, Unna? (novel) & Remember the Titans (films)
  49. Deadly, Unna? (novel) & Selected episodes of Redfern Now (television series)
  50. El Deafo (graphic novel) & The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (novel)
  51. Etiquette and Espionage (novel) & Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (film)
  52. Exit West (novel) & Romeo and Juliet (play)
  53. Exit West (novel) & The poetry of Selina Nwulu (poetry)
  54. Exit West (novel) & The poetry of Warsan Shire (poetry)
  55. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (novel) & After the Storm (film)
  56. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (novel) & 11’09’01 (collection of short films)
  57. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (novel) & Lion (film)
  58. Face (novel) & The Intouchables (film)
  59. Fahrenheit 451 (novel) & Persepolis (graphic novel or film)
  60. Fahrenheit 451 (novel) & V For Vendetta (film)
  61. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf (choreopoem) & When I Hit You (novel)
  62. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf (choreopoem) & Mustang (film)
  63. Frankenstein (novel) & Boy, Snow, Bird (novel)
  64. Frankenstein (novel) & Frankenweenie (film)
  65. Frankenstein (novel) & The Iron Giant (film)
  66. Frankenstein (novel) & Metropolis (film)
  67. Frankenstein (novel) & Never Let Me Go (film)
  68. Frankenstein (novel) & The Rocky Horror Picture Show (film)
  69. Frankenstein (novel) & The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (novel)
  70. Girl Rising (film) & Poetry of Maya Angelou (poetry)
  71. Girl Rising (film) & When I Hit You (novel)
  72. Hamlet (play) & A Monster Calls (novel/film)
  73. Hamlet (play) & Nutshell (novel)
  74. Hamlet (play) & The Lion King (film)
  75. Hiroshima (novel) & Grave of the Fireflies (film)
  76. Jasper Jones  (novel) & The Help (film)
  77. Jasper Jones (novel) & To Kill a Mockingbird (film)
  78. King Henry IV, Part I (play) & Selected episodes of House of Cards (television show)
  79. King Henry IV, Part I (play) & Selected episodes of Scandal (television show)
  80. King Richard II (play) & Selected episodes of House of Cards (television show)
  81. Life of Pi (novel) & Castaway (film)
  82. Lord of the Flies (novel) & Where the Wild Things Are (film)
  83. Lord of the Flies (novel) & The Hunger Games (film)
  84. Macbeth (play) & Selected episodes of Designated Survivor (television series)
  85. Macbeth (play) & The Dressmaker (film)
  86. Macbeth (play) & The Gods of Wheat Street (television series)
  87. Macbeth (play) & The Kite Runner (graphic novel, novel or film)
  88. Macbeth (play) & Selected episodes of House of Cards (television series)
  89. Macbeth (play) & Selected episodes of Scandal (television series)
  90. Maus (graphic novel) & A Long Way Gone (memoir)
  91. Maus (graphic novel) & Night (autobiography)
  92. Maus (graphic novel) & Schindler’s List (film)
  93. March (novel) & Little Wome(novel)
  94. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (novel) & The Fault in Our Stars (film)
  95. Night (autobiography) & A Long Way Gone (memoir)
  96. Night (autobiography) & Beatrice and Virgil (novel)
  97. Night (autobiography) & Girl At War (novel)
  98. Night (autobiography) & Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography)
  99. Night (autobiography) & Rabbit-Proof Fence (film)
  100. Night (autobiography) & Schindler’s List (film)
  101. Night (autobiography) & The Seven Stages of Grieving (play)
  102. Nineteen Eighty-Four (novel) & Pleasantville (film)
  103. Nona and Me (novel) & Looking for Alibrandi (film)
  104. Nona and Me (novel) & September (film)
  105. Of Mice and Men (novel) & Hunt for the Wilderpeople (film)
  106. Othello (play) & Boy Snow Bird (novel)
  107. Othello (play) & Desdemona (play)
  108. Othello (play) & Gone Girl (film)
  109. Othello (play) & Jasper Jones (novel)
  110. Othello (play) & New Boy (novel)
  111. Othello (play) & Selected episodes of Redfern Now (television series)
  112. Othello (play) & V For Vendetta (film)
  113. Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography) & Girl At War (novel)
  114. Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography) & Hotel Rwanda (film)
  115. Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography) & Lion (film)
  116. Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography) & Maus (graphic novel)
  117. Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography) & Night (autobiography)
  118. Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography) & Schindler’s List (film)
  119. Pride & Prejudice (novel) & Bride and Prejudice (film)
  120. Pride & Prejudice (novel) & Bridget Jones’s Diary (film)
  121. Pride & Prejudice (novel) & Mustang (film)
  122. Pride & Prejudice (novel) & The Wedding Plan (film)
  123. Refugee Boy (novel) & Freedom Writers (film)
  124. Refugee Boy (novel) & The African Doctor (film)
  125. Refugee Boy (novel) & The Arrival (picture book)
  126. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Alex and Eve (film)
  127. Romeo & Juliet (play) & A United Kingdom (film)
  128. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Freedom Writers (film)
  129. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Hairspray (film)
  130. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Meet the Patels (film)
  131. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Mustang (film)
  132. Romeo & Juliet (play) & My Big Fat Greek Wedding (film)
  133. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Tanna (film)
  134. Romeo & Juliet (play) & The Fault in Our Stars (film or novel)
  135. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Titanic (film)
  136. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Viceroy’s House (film)
  137. Romeo & Juliet (play) & West Side Story (film)
  138. Safana and Aunt Sarrinah (play) & Selected episodes of Redfern Now (television show)
  139. Safana and Aunt Sarrinah (play) & The Green Bicycle (novel)
  140. Safana and Aunt Sarrinah (play) & The Kite Runner (novel or graphic novel)
  141. Safana and Aunt Sarrinah (play) & Wadjda (film)
  142. Safana and Aunt Sarrinah (play) & Poetry of Warsan Shire (poetry)
  143. Scattered Lives (play) & Americannah (novel)
  144. Scattered Lives (play) & Freedom Writers (film)
  145. Scattered Lives (play) & Looking for Alibrandi (novel)
  146. Scattered Lives (play) & Poetry of Peter Skrzynecki (poetry)
  147. Scattered Lives (play) & Poetry of Selina Nwulu (poetry)
  148. Scattered Lives (play) & Poetry of Warsan Shire (poetry)
  149. Schindler’s Ark (novel) & Hotel Rwanda (film)
  150. Speak (novel) & For Colored Girls (film)
  151. Speak (novel) & The Lovely Bones (novel)
  152. Speak (novel) & The Scarlet Letter (novel)
  153. Speak (novel) & When I Hit You (novel)
  154. Stargirl (novel) & Wadjda (film)
  155. Station Eleven (novel) & A Midsummer Night’s Dream (play)
  156. Station Eleven (novel) & Hag-Seed (novel)
  157. Station Eleven (novel) & Never Let Me Go (novel or film)
  158. Station Eleven (novel) & The Tempest (play)
  159. Stolen (play) & Rabbit-Proof Fence (film)
  160. Stolen (play) & The Rabbits (picture book)
  161. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (novel) & Hunt for the Wilderpeople (film)
  162. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (memoir) & Queen of Katwe (film)
  163. The Color Purple (novel) & For Colored Girls (film)
  164. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (novel) & Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (film)
  165. The Dreamer (novel) & Billy Elliot (film)
  166. The Drover’s Wife (play) & Selected episodes of Redfern Now (television series)
  167. The Drover’s Wife (play) & ‘The Drover’s Wife’ (short story)
  168. The Drover’s Wife (play) & When I Hit You (novel)
  169. The First Third (novel) & Boy (film)
  170. The Fault in Our Stars (novel) & Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (film)
  171. The Handmaid’s Tale (novel/television series) & Never Let me Go (novel/film)
  172. The Help (novel) & A United Kingdom (film)
  173. The Help (novel) & Remember the Titans (film)
  174. The Help (novel) & The Blindside (film)
  175. The Outsiders (novel) & Hunt for the Wilderpeople (film)
  176. The Outsiders (novel) & Freedom Writers (film)
  177. The Outsiders (novel) & Yolngu Boy (film)
  178. The Rabbits (picture book) & Deadly, Unna? (novel)
  179. The Rabbits (picture book) & Poetry of Oodgeroo Noonuccal (poetry)
  180. The Rabbits (picture book) & Rabbit-Proof Fence (film)
  181. The Real Inspector Hound (play) & Selected episodes of Trapped (television series)
  182. The Real Inspector Hound (play) & And Then There Were None (novel)
  183. The Scarlet Letter (novel) & Easy A (film)
  184. The Skull Beneath the Skin (novel) & The Real Inspector Hound (play)
  185. The Skull Beneath the Skin (novel) & Selected episodes of Trapped (television series)
  186. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (novel) & The Drover’s Wife (play)
  187. The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman (novel) & Freedom Writers (film)
  188. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (novel) & Hamlet (play or film)
  189. The Kite Runner (novel) & Big Fish (film)
  190. The Kite Runner (novel) & Boy (film)
  191. The Queue (novel) & Animal Farm (novel)
  192. The Queue (novel) & Brave New World (novel)
  193. The Queue (novel) & Fahrenheit 451 (novel/film)
  194. The Queue (novel) & Nineteen Eighty-Four (novel)
  195. The Queue (novel) & Persepolis (film/graphic novel)
  196. ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ (short story) & Icarus Girl (novel)
  197. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & A United Kingdom (film)
  198. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & Boy, Snow, Bird (novel)
  199. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & Hairspray (film)
  200. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & Poetry of Langston Hughes (poetry)
  201. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & Jasper Jones (novel)
  202. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & Pleasantville (film)
  203. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & Remember the Titans (film)
  204. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & Selected episodes of Redfern Now (television series)
  205. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & The Blindside (film)
  206. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & The Hate U Give (novel)
  207. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & The Help (film)
  208. To This Day (graphic novel) & Wonder (novel)
  209. To This Day (graphic novel) & Face (novel)
  210. Vernon God Little (novel) & Elephant (film)
  211. Vinegar Girl (novel) & The Taming of the Shrew (play)
  212. Vinegar Girl (novel) & 10 Things I Hate About You (film)
  213. Voices from Chernobyl (non-fiction) & Grave of the Fireflies (film)
  214. War Horse (film) & Poetry of Siegfried Sassoon (poetry)
  215. War Horse (film) & Poetry of Wilfred Owen (poetry)

Creating an identity CV

7 Jan

I recently read a poem by Ouyang Yu entitled ‘An Identity CV‘.  In this poem, Yu seeks to represent his identity in the form of a resume.  The poem is interesting in that it captures the complexities, nuances, and shifting nature of identity.

Using this poem as inspiration, I would like to run an activity in which each of my students creates his or her own identity CV.  I think this would be an interesting way for students to start thinking about representing self.  I also think it could be interesting to ask students to complete the task from two different perspectives (perhaps their own and their community’s), thus helping them to understand how self-construction of identity and the perception of others can be quite different.

Panel discussions

30 Dec

I have blogged previously about the ‘Circle of Viewpoints‘ activity and the possibility of using this activity to help students to understand the various perspectives and stakeholders relevant to a particular text or AOS.

Another approach is to have students participate in a panel discussion, assuming the roles of characters, interest groups or particular audiences.  While the circle of viewpoints works well when all students want to participate, a panel discussion might work better for a quieter class as it allows confident and outgoing students to act and the quieter students to listen.

What is Australian literature?

11 Oct

When I was in high school, our English studies focused on canonical texts.  For example, we studied a range of Shakespearean plays, Romantic poets such as Coleridge, Modernist poets such as Eliot, and classics by Austen and Dickens.  With a few notable exceptions, we learned about past fictional worlds far removed from our own.  In other words, we managed to study literature without really understanding that literature could be written by our fellow citizens about events, personalities and issues that formed part of the national consciousness.

With this in mind, I would like to construct a unit for a Year 9 or 10 class which engages with Australian literature.  What does Australian literature look like?  What does it sound like?  From whose perspective can it be written?  What issues does it address?  What do we gain by exploring Australian literature?  What do we lose by ignoring narratives that allegedly speak to our experiences?

As part of this unit, I would hope to give students an opportunity to access the myriad voices of Australian literature.  In particular, I would want them read texts by and about ATSI people, and understand how narratives differ when a person is author rather than subject.  I would also like them to engage with the narratives of migrants and to understand how these groups are represented in texts, and how they have come to use literature to assert their own identities.

There is also scope as part of this unit to explore attitudes to the land.  In this sense, the curriculum requirement of engaging with sustainability could be meaningfully met.

In fact, the more I think about this, the more I am inclined to suggest that the project of exploring Australian literature should be a year long activity.  Perhaps, in Year 9, students could undertake this exploration and then, in year 10, they could branch out into world literature thus further expanding their engagement with their multicultural world.

Wondering about superheroes

5 Oct

I have written previously about compiling a Heroes unit for a Year 7 class.   As part of that unit, I want my students to read and discuss ‘Destiny’ by Shalini Akhil (available in Alice Pung’s Growing Up Asian in Australia).  This short story is about a girl’s obsession with Wonder Woman, and the way that her discussions with her grandma cause her to make adjustments to Wonder Woman’s attire and skills so as to   create Indian Wonder Woman.

As a follow on from this story, I want students to create their own superhero, reflecting the values and beliefs that are important to them.

Visions of Australia

14 Apr

My Year 1o class is awesome.  However, they have a long way to go if they want to be properly prepared for Standard English in Years 11 and 12.  As part of my campaign to prepare them for senior school I am in the process of creating an ‘Introduction to Distinctively Visual’ unit for them.

The focus if this unit will be representations of Australia. Why? Well, it flows well from our novel study, building on some of the themes flagged there and answering some of the questions that students had at the end of that unit.  It also engages with ideas that may well have personal resonance for my class; all members of my class are either first generation Australians or were born overseas.  It is my observation that my classes much prefers topics that have some application to their own lives and experiences (either directly or through representation in media that they engage with).

I would like to begin this unit with a brief exploration of The Rabbits, a picture book by John Marsden and Shaun Tan.  This text is an allegory for Australia’s colonisation, representing these ideas in distinctively visual ways.  In particular, I am keen for students to discuss colour, positioning, juxtaposition, and salience as they apply to the text.  I also think that, as a text type, a picture book represents an accessible starting point for my ESL and lower ability students.

I would like to follow The Rabbits with something from Growing up Asian in Australia.  By comparing these texts, I hope to spark in depth discussion about identity, marginalisation, community and cross-cultural interactions.

Changed perspective

28 Mar

As noted previously, my Year 9 class was not enjoying their ‘Asian Perspectives’ unit.   In order to demonstrate that I am hearing their concerns, we shifted focus slightly.  We are now approaching this as an issues based unit.  Each lesson we will examine an issue/area of interest and consider how that issue is represented in different short texts.  Students will also write persuasive pieces that relate to these issues in order to practice for NAPLAN.

Our fist issue was disabilities.  We examined a poem and a YouTube clip.  Next lesson we will examine anti-smoking advertisements.  We will look at a campaign from the Thai Health Promotion Foundation and one from Australia.

We will also look at adoption (examining texts noted here and the ‘Approved for Adoption’ trailer), child welfare (using UNICEF campaign material) and genocide (‘I’ll never call you home again’ (Rwanda) and a poem about the experiences under the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia).

What do you do when your students hate the unit of work?

26 Mar

I am currently teaching a unit entitled ‘Asian perspectives’.  The unit is part persuasive writing and part creative writing.  My Year 9 classes and I are a few lessons into the unit.

When I told them that we were studying Asian perspectives I got a lot of eye rolls and groans.  When we actually started studying it, opinions were more clearly and frequently articulated.

In a bid to encourage my students to get their negativity out of their systems, I set them a persuasive writing task which required them to write to the Minister for Education and explain their views about the inclusion of ‘Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia’ in the new English curriculum.  The students then posted their letter to Edmodo for feedback.

The underlying passion of many of the responses has shone through, with many students producing a better than usual quality of work.

While I think the experience was positive, I am now in a situation where I am fully aware of students’ viewpoints on this topic.  Accordingly, I have to respond by making some changes.

One way I am going to do this is to bring in some literary texts earlier than planned and also to broaden the scope a little beyond merely Asian texts.  Next lesson, for example, we will look at Lazola Pambo’s poem ‘The Man in a Wheelchair‘ (found at New Asian Writing).  We will examine this alongside my current favourite YouTube clip ‘Because who is perfect?‘  (a German clip).  Students will then be tasked with writing a letter in which they seek to persuade the principal of our school to include ONE of these texts (students pick the one they like best) in a special assembly marking International Day of People with a Disability.

A peer review activity will follow, thus allowing me to ascertain that they can write and  recognise persuasive features in other texts.

 

Interracial adoption

22 Mar

Recently there have been two interesting articles in Australian newspapers about interracial adoption.  Both articles explore experiences of Asian children who were adopted into Caucasian families.

The articles, ‘Growing up Asian in a white household‘ and ‘Adopted family subject to hurtful, insulting comments‘ offer very different experiences.  Students could be asked to compare and contrast experiences and identify the purposes of each article.  In doing so, they will have a greater sense of the complexities of identity.