How I Resist is nonfiction book that provides multiple opportunities for use in a secondary classroom.
This book is political and will inspire classroom discussions. It contains three dozen opinions on being involved in politics as a young person. Since the overall message of this book is for young people to be active in society, the target audience is almost-voters; I recommend this book for the high school setting. ELA and social studies teachers can easily implement pieces of this book into their classrooms.
Teachers want students to vote or plan to vote, and this book will show teens practical ways to approach their civil responsibilities. Students will discover plenty of outlets for activism. This book is not only essays, but also music, cartoons, and interviews. Finally, diverse books for classroom libraries can be difficult to choose; this book has numerous authors for every taste.
How I Resist will fit nicely into your classroom library. As a bonus, I’ve created five quick ways to use this book in the classroom. Each lesson can be adjusted to fit your specific needs.
As stand-alone literature.
I enjoyed the entire book, but Javier Muñoz’s piece stood out to me. Muñoz writes about the dangers he faced after giving a speech. Sometimes students show apathy toward speeches and literature; he shows that people do indeed take words seriously.
Additionally, Muñoz acknowledges that this group of adolescents is growing up in a hostile political environment. That fact will affect these future voters. His piece is eight pages in length, the perfect option for teaching alone.
As a starting point for social media discussions.
The Internet is forever. Alas, our students don’t always realize that and post regrettable pictures and rants on social media. Before teaching media literacy, use Jonny Sun’s piece, “Media-Consciousness As Part of Resistance!”
Sun covers ten things to consider when consuming media, and six ways to react to media. Those two side are especially important: students should consider both roles while dealing with social media.
As a piece of art.
How I Resist includes songs, text messages, and cartoons. The pieces are so much more than an article or essay. I especially imagine my doodlers and comic strip creators relating to this book.
Show students that all writing matters, that all communication can have an emphasis, and that all efforts matter.
As an extension for authors.
Popular authors such as Jason Reynolds and Jodi Picoult contributed pieces to How I Resist. If you teach one of their pieces or have students who read their books independently, show students their essays.
Literature can move students. When students have a connection to an author from this book, provide them with a quick piece for a different perspective of the author.
As a read-aloud.
If I have a few minutes to spare at the end of a class period, I often read poetry because the pieces are short. You should be able to grab How I Resist and read a quick piece. Nonfiction needn’t be stuffy or outdated. Read a piece that will resonate with modern students.
A goal of mine as an English teacher: for students to know that words possess power. I add books of that theme to my classroom library, and How I Resist is the perfect addition.