This multi-genre inquiry project was completed for my English Teaching Methods Class and examines how individual identity is formed under oppressive government, societies, or practices thorugh a multitude and variety of genres and perspectives. I was inspired to understand the relationship between oppression and identity after reading and connecting with Liesel's quest for herself in The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Set during the Nazi Regime in war-torn Germany, Liesel gains an understanding of herself and her world through stealing books that were otherwise deemed as "inappropraite" and a "threat" to german soceity and ideals. Liesel's desire to stand out instead of confrom to societal expectations made me wonder how other fictional, and some non-fictional, characters responded to the same oppresion but in different societies and times.
Ultimatly, looking at how fictional and non-fictional characters construct a unique identity in the face of oppresion has value in the high school english classroom because it is conducive to self-exploration on behalf of the students. Although current society might not be as oppresive as it once was or as it is depicted in literature, the threat and pressure to confrom still bears true today. If this activity were modeled in the high school classroom, it would encourage students to think like these characters and see what motivates on to confrom or not and relay these motivations in a variety of genres.
The genres explored in this project are:
1) An essay that explores the theme of Oppresion and Identity through a variety of novels: canonical, contemporary, adult, young-adult, full-length novels, short stories, fiction, and non-fiction.
2) A word cloud that describes what it means to be an individual in the shape of a book.
3) Letters that might have been sent between two characters after their seperation: Liesel and Max.
4) A prezi presentation that depicts the historical accuracy of facts in this text: the research behind the authenticity of the depiction of the Nazi Regime in the text.
5) A Student Opinon Piece in a College Newspaper encouraging students to contribute books to the book burnings.
6) An advertisement encouraging individuals to come and share their story at an Open Mic Night.
7) A Lesson Plan detailing how to teach this text in tandem with identity.
8) This Weebly site that synthesizes all these genres together.