My students in a community college writing class loved the window into American history the Marshall biography provided. Many of them were immigrants who found that Thurgood Marshall’s life story helped them understand race in 20th century in the United States. This was a topic which they wanted to know much more about.
But the students at an academy for dropouts and ex-offenders in Manhattan started much further away from reading. Reading had not been part of the daily routines of many of the male students for years. With this group, I should have been much more selective with which chapters I assigned, and I should have provided a rationale for each chapter. Would study guide questions before each chapter have helped?