National Writing Project

21 Seconds to Teach Humanity

By: Lisa Weinbaum
Publication: Teaching Tolerance Magazine
Date: February 27, 2009

Summary: Weinbaum, a teacher-consultant with the Borderlands Writing Project and a past participant in the Rural Sites Network's Memorial Library Summer Seminar on Holocaust Education, recounts how she transforms her students' violent behavior by showing them a video of the Shirley Jackson story "The Lottery," then asking them to reflect and write on the inhumane behavior presented in the story.

 

Excerpt from Article

Yet these bathroom brawls were no game. In early spring, while playing 21 in the restroom, a seventh-grade girl fell and hit her head on the sink. Most of her supposed friends left her on the floor, writhing from seizures caused by the blow to her skull. Two of the braver girls stayed behind. One of them dislodged the victim's tongue from her throat as she began choking. An ambulance arrived. Thankfully the victim fully recovered, but not before her fever spiked to 107 degrees. I could not in good conscience continue my lessons as if nothing had happened.

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Read 21 Seconds to Teach Humanity in Teaching Tolerance Magazine.

Copyright © 2009 Teaching Tolerance. Reprinted with permission.
Weinbaum, Lisa. 2009. "21 Seconds to Teach Humanity." Teaching Tolerance (35). www.tolerance.org

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