A Messenger of Hope

When Edward James Olmos wanted to deliver a strong anti-drug and anti-gang message to kids in the barrios in his film American Me, he went home to East Los Angeles. There he invited young gang members like George Sarabia and Gil Espinoza as extras and crewmembers. He hoped to demystify the glamour of gangs, while giving kids new skills and a way out of the gang world. Before he met Eddie, George had only one goal in life: to come back from prison a hero — having earned his “stripes.” He now shares his life-changing story with other young people, asking them to stop the violence. “We all have a choice. You can do whatever you want to do,” George says. Then he pauses and adds, with quiet intensity, “Think about it. What you could do. What you could be.”

A Messenger of Hope
When Edward James Olmos wanted to deliver a strong anti-drug and anti-gang message to kids in the barrios in his film American Me, he went home to East Los Angeles. There he invited young gang members like George Sarabia and Gil Espinoza as extras and crewmembers. He hoped to demystify the glamour of gangs, while giving kids new skills and a way out of the gang world. Before he met Eddie, George had only one goal in life: to come back from prison a hero — having earned his “stripes.” He now shares his life-changing story with other young people, asking them to stop the violence. “We all have a choice. You can do whatever you want to do,” George says. Then he pauses and adds, with quiet intensity, “Think about it. What you could do. What you could be.”

ELA Learning Standards:

SL.9-10.1.c
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.

W.9-10.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

WHST.9–10.2
Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/experiments, or technical processes.

WHST.9–10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

SL.9-10.1.c
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions

W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the topic under investigation.

L.PK-12.4
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.

W.PK-12.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

W.PK-12.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Skills: Hispanic heritage, cultural diversity, positivity, social emotional learning, interracial dialogue and healing, social studies, language arts, community service

Teaching Jazz, Creating Community

Wynton Marsalis is best known as an award-winning jazz musician. But for students in the thousands of schools he’s visited, he’s a role model telling them to “take your freedom and put it into the service of somebody else’s.” Young people like Roberto Perez in Washington D.C. have learned from Wynton how jazz can be a metaphor for creating democracy. “What a kid learns from jazz is how to express his individuality without stepping on somebody else’s,” says Wynton. ·”Being a good neighbor, that’s what jazz is all about.”

Teaching Jazz, Creating Community

Wynton Marsalis is best known as an award-winning jazz musician. But for students in the thousands of schools he’s visited, he’s a role model telling them to “take your freedom and put it into the service of somebody else’s.” Young people like Roberto Perez in Washington D.C. have learned from Wynton how jazz can be a metaphor for creating democracy. “What a kid learns from jazz is how to express his individuality without stepping on somebody else’s,” says Wynton. ·”Being a good neighbor, that’s what jazz is all about.”

ELA Learning Standards:

SL.9-10.1
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

SL.9-10.1.c
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.

SL.11-12.1.c
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.

W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

WHST.9–10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

RL.9-10.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

SL.9-10.1.c
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions

L.PK-12.4
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.

R.PK-12.2
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

SL.PK-12.1
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

W.PK-12.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Skills: Creativity, Self Discipline, Humility, Expression through Music, Collaboration

Freedom from Madness

Mahatma Gandhi had a very ambitious mission: to teach total nonviolence to the people of India. He had used civil disobedience and his fasts to free India from British imperialism in 1946. Now he wanted to teach his people how to create peace and racial harmony. “We are one human race,” he would say. “Religion must unify us, not divide us.” In this inspiring story, Gandhi’s grandson tells the story of how the great teacher helped Souren Bannetji, whose life had been ruined by religious hatred, to set aside anger and vengeance and learn how to forgive. Out of tragedy, Souren could create a new life for himself and his new family. He came to understand Gandhi’s words: “Change can come only one life at a time.”

Freedom from Madness
Mahatma Gandhi had a very ambitious mission: to teach total nonviolence to the people of India. He had used civil disobedience and his fasts to free India from British imperialism in 1946. Now he wanted to teach his people how to create peace and racial harmony. “We are one human race,” he would say. “Religion must unify us, not divide us.” In this inspiring story, Gandhi’s grandson tells the story of how the great teacher helped Souren Bannetji, whose life had been ruined by religious hatred, to set aside anger and vengeance and learn how to forgive. Out of tragedy, Souren could create a new life for himself and his new family. He came to understand Gandhi’s words: “Change can come only one life at a time.”

ELA Learning Standards:

SL.9-10.1.c
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.

W.9-10.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

WHST.9–10.2
Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/experiments, or technical processes.

WHST.9–10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

L.PK-12.4
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.

SL.9-10.1.c
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.

W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the topic under investigation..

W.PK-12.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

W.PK-12.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Skills:
social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion, leadership, social emotional learning, language arts, community service, social studies