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House on Mango Street

Additional Projects/Activities IV 

  1. Connecting Martin Luther King and Leonard Peltier
    1. Have half the class read “Native American Resistance in the 1960’s,” excerpted from the U.S. History textbook, The Americans, and answer the question at the bottom.  Have the other half of the class read “Day of Shame,” statement by the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee and answer the question at the end.
    2. Form groups of four (and five, if necessary) in which two students read the excerpt from The Americans and the other two read “Day of Shame.”  Have each subgroup compare their perceptions what happened at Pine Ridge in the early 1970s.
    3. Students discuss why their perceptions of what happened at Pine Ridge differed.  Do they think that either account they read is “objective”?  Is it possible to be objective?  If either or both accounts have a bias, what is the bias of each?  Focus especially on the textbook’s point of view here, since it is presumed “objective,” until proven biased.
    4. Discuss  and write about the similarities between the following:
      • how the textbook, The Americans, describes what happened with AIM and the FBI 
      • The Americans’  treatment of Martin Luther King, both in his political message and the failure to mention any of the FBI’s campaign against him.
    5. You could also have students read “Who Killed Martin Luther King, Jr.?” by Douglas Valentine for more evidence that King was not killed by a “lone assassin.” Have students talk about why the content of one’s ideas and the degree to which others are listening might make one a “threat” to those in power.
  2. Finally, students could consider these questions:  If they can hide Martin Luther King, Jr., in plain sight, along with the other things we’ve uncovered, what other things might be hidden?  What questions do we need to ask to find what is being kept from us?  How can we expand our frame of reference?  And once we do expand our awareness, what should we do?  (Or, does increased awareness come after you get directly involved in political and social issues?)
Teacher's Guide
Essential Questions
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Additional Projects/Activities I
Additional Projects/Activities II
Additional Projects/Activities III
Additional Projects/Activities IV
Transcript of TV Reports
Michael Eric Dyson
  Materials for Other Activities
Instructions for Essay on King's Giant Triplets
Who Killed Martin Luther King?
St. Martin, The Militant
All Things Censored
Native American Resistance
Day Of Shame
Samples Of Student Work

Urban Dreams
OUSD Curriculum Unit
Hidden In Plain Sight -
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s
Radical Vision
Subject: U.S. History
Grade Level: 11th

Lesson Plan Author:
Craig Gordon
Organization: OUSD