Since I wrote recently about using a text set built around the idea of respect and the title Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina, a few people have asked what other texts we used alongside it. Our* essential question was “What makes someone worthy of respect?”
We were aiming for a set that spanned genres, and so the resulting set was both too big to use in our short time but also made of texts that weren’t only from the YA world. It included the some of the following:
- Poems like “The Ballad of the Landlord” by Langston Hughes and “Ex-Basketball Player” by John Updike
- A series of quotes about respect from famous people
- The short story ‘Chuckie’ by Victor LaValle
- A couple of articles about bystanding and upstanding when bad things happen to others
- Lou Holtz’s famous first locker room speech at Notre Dame
- A couple of pieces from the This I Believe collection having to do with self-respect (thisibelieve.org)
- Several anecdotes from the book Discovering Wes Moore about choices, misunderstandings, and facing adversity
This group of texts are all related to the idea of respect and who gets it and who doesn’t, and the different readings allowed us to consider respect from a variety of vantage points as we tried to put ourselves in the shoes of Piddy and Yaqui in the anchor novel. They also gave us lots of time to dabble in writing different genres.
Text sets are such a fun way to really think hard about important stuff, and I’m excited to keep adding to this set about respect.
*This curriculum for the BGA/BU Summer Institute was developed in collaboration with my awesome friends Marisa Olivo and Lucia Mandelbaum from BGA and Scott Seider from BU.