I'm halfway through a unit on Thoreau's "On Civil Disobedience" right now.
I have set up the class to read Thoreau by looking at two texts focused on police violence: an excerpt from Angie Thomas's best-seller The Hate U Give, and another excerpt from TaNehisi Coates's Between the World and Me. We finished Coates this week, ready to bring on Thoreau next week.
This week I wanted students to write their first argumentative essay on an issue in America today. We staged a debate about police violence. We annotated letters written to the editor of the New York Times. I just needed a problem-based strategy to introduce the in-class, 300-word essay.
Fortunately, I had President Trump to help me out.
President Trump is VERY popular among a group of six of my 18 students. When we talk about issues in class, they quickly find the Trump line and hew to it. I thought it would be fun to use their interest to lead into my question prompt this week.
For help I turned to FakeTrumpTweet.com, where I was able to compose a 140-character missive that made our president seem a lot like an English teacher I know.
(Don't castigate me for being fake. Last summer I blogged about the need to drop all pretense and just start teaching fake stuff.)
Here's what I came up with:
I'd love to write that my student DIDN'T see right through the ruse and call me out. I can't. Fake or not, Trump's words here are worth following.