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Free Practice with Argument—Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give

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We at Barraug Books attended a reading at Charis Books and More in Atlanta in mid-March 2017 with YA author Angie Thomas reading from The Hate U Give.

Dayna Evans of New York Magazine writes, "The story follows 16-year-old Starr Carter, a basketball-playing sneakerhead who lives in a poor, predominantly black neighborhood and attends a rich, predominantly white school. After she witnesses her childhood best friend fatally shot by a police officer, Starr confronts the reality of racial injustice in America, grapples with how she can continue to straddle two completely different worlds, and is drawn into activism."

All students and teachers in America need to read this important book. Since its publication on February 28, 2017, the book has received 13 starred reviews, and it has already been optioned for a film starring Amandla Stenberg, previously seen as Rue in The Hunger Games. Thomas's first novel is currently perched at number one on the New York Times Bestseller List for the third week in a row.

This free teaching guide uses an excerpt of the book published in Entertainment Weekly, October 2016. Thomas said in her book talk that because of the language and subject matter, the book (and excerpt) is for students ages 14 and up. Younger students may need some parental guidance.

This teaching guide contains links to video and audio resources for analyzing the topic of police shootings of unarmed African Americans including a TED Talk on giving “the talk” from parents to sons and daughters on how to act if stopped by the police. The resource features an original prompt responding to a quote by National Book Award Winner and MacArthur Genius Grant awarded author, Ta-Nehisi Coates, about violence, African Americans, and a forgetting of the past. Students will construct a thesis sentence for an argument that agrees, refutes or qualifies Coates’ statement.

Included in the lesson packet is a detailed look at a clip from "Fruitvale Station," a 2013 critically awarded film recounting of Oscar Grant’s last day before he was killed by the BART (Oakland, CA) Police. Angie Thomas was inspired to write her novel after the death of Oscar Grant.

Instructions and strategies are included on how to teach a rhetorical précis and hold an inner and outer Socratic Circle.

These lessons fit any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, AP English Language or Ap English Literature class to prepare students for AP English Language exams, Common Core extended response assessments, American Literature Course exams, the SAT and ACT essay and critical thinking activities. The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions. An added addendum describes how to adapt the lessons for struggling and ELL students.

The Hate You Give is available for purchase at an independent bookstore near you.

Tags: Close Reading, writing, Pre-AP, YA, critical thinking, policing, African Americans, shootings, theme, ELL adaptable material, flipped classroom
Total Pages
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Teaching Duration
4 days
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