Diversity and the American Dream

BY Annemarie Finn & Heather O’Donnell

Mashpee Middle High School

Project Description
We propose purchasing 2 class sets each (50 books each) of Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas for 10th grade English classes. The grant will be used to offset the cost of the books. The 10th grade curriculum is based on the American Dream but many groups are underrepresented. We want to add modern, relevant literature to the curriculum and generate open, respectful thought and discussion. After reading the books, we will assign students a research project connecting the themes of the books with the Innocence Project.

How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)
We plan on evaluating student success and understanding with a culminating research project with a prompt such as: Through the lens of the theme of restorative justice, research someone from the Innocence Project and discuss how you would argue for their innocence.

Benefit to the students and the school
By providing high interest literature, we hope to engage all students. We hope to encourage respectful dialogue and a deeper understanding of current issues and viewpoints. We also hope to allow all students to have a voice and recognize themselves in literature.

Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)
The unit will be presented in Spring 2020, to be completed prior to the end of the school year, June 2020