B) Give a presentation outlining a creative writing class using Brown Girl Dreaming as a jumping off point. Consider how you might design particular tasks and their functions and how you might create a supportive and creative atmosphere.
- Goal after lesson:
- Materials needed:
What everybody knows now
Because we’re witnesses
How to create a supportive and creative atmosphere in the classroom
This is a lesson plan where the aim is to create a creative writing exercise using brown girl dreaming as a jumping of point.
Goal after lesson: Write a short text about exclusion. Could be about your own experience or someone you know.
If you do not come up with an idea you could write about Jacqueline and her experience with exclusion and injustice.
Curriculum: Teaching in English should essentially give pupils the opportunities to develop their ability to:
• express themselves and communicate in speech and writing,
• use language strategies to understand and make themselves understood
• reflect over living conditions, social and cultural phenomena in different contexts and parts of the world where English is used.
Materials needed: poems from brown girl dreaming “what everybody knows now” (p. 237). “Because we’re witnesses” (p. 164). “Reading” (p.226). Pen and paper.
In Brown Girl Dreaming we can read Jacqueline Woodson's memoirs on the experience of growing up as an African American child during the 1960s and early 1970s.
During the novel we get an insight of what injustice can look like in different forms.
We both get to read poems about the racism that Jacqueline and her family experience and the injustice she experiences in school both because of her religion but also because she has a different ability to learn than her classmates.
To read and discuss these injustices she experiences during the novel I believe would be a good starting point for a creative writing exercise.
Religion is another internal conflict that Jacqueline grapples with throughout the memoir.
Religion is introduced as a theme in Part II of Brown Girl Dreaming when Jacqueline and her siblings are converted to Jehovah's Witnesses by their devout grandmother.
While Jacqueline's mother says, "The children can choose their own faith/ when they're old enough" (112), Jacqueline's grandmother tells the children, "In my house...you will do as I do" (112).
Jacqueline is forced to devote a great deal of time to praying, studying, and proselytizing, but she specifically tells the reader on many instances that she doesn't understand why she must do or believe certain things.
For example, she knows she is supposed to believe that her grandfather, as a non-believer, will not go to Heaven, but she does not want to believe this because she loves her grandfather dearly.
Throughout the book, we see aspects of her religion sprinkled through her journey and how being a Jehovah’s Witness affected her as she grew.
In her poem "Because we’re witnesses" she recalls how the other children in her class are laughing at her and her two friends as they walk out of the classroom when the other children celebrate a birthday and eat birthday cupcakes.