When is it right to make a stand?
“I wanted you to see what real courage is. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
– Atticus Finch
In Spring 2018, Year 7 (C24) studied exclusively a Humanities and Arts expedition called ‘Stand Up!’.
The learning targets were :
- I can explain what ‘identity’ means and how society influences our own identity
- I can analyse character and setting to understand the choices characters make
- I can describe the consequences for those who choose to challenge a community’s rules – written and unwritten – about who belongs
- I can analyse slavery in the 18th century using the lens of cause and effect
- I can explore the concept of justice and the roles laws and individuals play in creating a just society
- I can explain how examining the changes in the characters and setting of a work of fiction can help us better understand the relationship between human behaviour and social change in our society
- I can write a speech using literacy / rhetorical devices
- I can deliver a speech for a specific audience
The Immersion for this expedition was a visit to the International Museum of Slavery in Liverpool where students found out about the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. In addition to this, students designed a journal that they would be keeping throughout the course of the expedition and they watched a ‘Mystery Piece’ film extract based on slavery.
As part of their first Case Study, they began to delve into their anchor text ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee. Students were introduced to the key characters and the world in which the characters lived. Through examining their own identity, students started to focus on the moral universe of Maycomb and its inhabitants. They considered Southern stereotypes and considered the effects of the Jim Crow segregation system. Students soon discovered that to make a stand could leave you at serious physical and social risk!
During Case Study 2, students continued to read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and continued to explore characters, settings and themes more deeply. They considered the limitations of Scout as a narrator and also thought about what it would be like to ‘walk in someone else’s skin’. They considered the character of Tom Robinson, focusing on the injustice of his conviction when he is clearly innocent and has been proven so beyond reasonable doubt. As part of reading ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, the character Atticus Finch was another focus for them as the man who chooses to defended Tom Robinson despite society’s thoughts and the fact he feels it is important to for him to be defended.
Students investigated the history of the Slave Trade and the impact it had on the people of Africa. They learnt about the slave trade, in particular the kidnapping of people from the villages, the middle passage, slave auctions and life as a slave. Students also focused on the Trade Triangle and Britain’s involvement in this.
Case Study 3 allowed students to focus on the aftermath of the verdict and the concepts of citizenship and democracy. By exploring the concepts of being either a ‘bystander’ or ‘upstander’, they were able to think about the legacy of racism and injustice that resulted from the verdict. Students concluded by thinking about whether they could put into practice the lessons they had learned from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ into their own lives.
As part of their final product, students analysed a number of different speeches to learn how different literary devices are used. This then supported their understanding so they were able to produce a speech on a key topic and share this as part of a Celebration of Learning.
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
All resources relating to this expedition can be found below:
Final Product – Speeches
(This will appear shortly)