This is a 16-page .pdf document for a 60-minute lesson for John Wyndham's novel, The Chrysalids. The lesson makes connections between the novel and popular culture. Specifically, how Danny Michel's song, "If God's On Your Side (Then Who's On Mine?)" [Canadian content] connects to notions of religious intolerance in the novel.
This 16-page .pdf document contains the following:
-A detailed lesson plan for a 60-minute lesson, including extension activities and possible homework assignment.
-Eight .pdf slides (suitable for computer projector, for overhead transparencies or to put into a PowerPoint presentation).
-Quotations from the novel for students to focus upon and make connections with.
-Notes and numerous examples on "The Power of Song" in Western culture.
-Student handout of the lyrics to Danny Michel's "If God's On Your Side (Then Who's On Mine?)" (with YouTube link provided).
-Teacher copy of lyrics to Danny Michel's song with annotations (allusions, vocabulary explanations, etc.)
-Three thoughtful and thought-provoking questions for students to discuss and write responses to, connecting the song to the novel.
-Lyrics to a similarly themed alternative song: "O Siem" by Susan Aglukark.
In other words, this lesson continues to explore the use (or misuse) of religion in the novel, opening up students’ understanding to how prejudice and hate creeps into a society’s belief system. Students will performing a close-reading of the song's lyrics and make connections between the two texts, as well as understand how the concepts of positionality, bigotry and individual perspective manifest in the novel. This lesson will adds to any social justice curriculum that may be required by a school district (e.g., anti-bullying, acceptance of others).
While this song (and of course, poem) may not be as popular as Katy Perry or Jay-Z, I have found that students respond well to stepping outside the novel and experiencing how the ideas connect to current issues (albeit in different ways). Further, switching the learning style from visual to auditory is a welcome change for everyone. While afterwards, students may not rush home to download the song, they do walk away thinking it was an interesting learning experience. And fun for the teacher as well!