Teacher Consultant

Clifford Lee

Life Academy High School
Oakland, California

Bay Area Writing Project

Classroom Context

I teach an eleventh-grade humanities course that covers the California state standards in ELA and U.S. history. During the first semester, our focus is around the essential question "who is an American?" We explore the answer to this question by studying Native American groups, African American slaves, early European immigrants, Chinese immigration throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Mexican immigration throughout the twentieth century, and several other contemporary immigrant groups. While we explore the historical backgrounds of these groups, we also read literary narratives from a variety of authors, which serve to complement the history (Joy Luck Club, Macho!). At the same time, students are learning, reviewing, and practicing various reading and writing strategies, group work, revision, focus, etc.

The timeframe for all of this is approximately 12 weeks. The bulk of the actual digital storytelling project does not begin until the last four weeks of the semester.