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Book Club: Dear Martin

A four week discussion-based course of the young adult novel "Dear Martin" in which students explore topics including identity, race, gender, the Black Lives Matter movement, and language.
MaryClare Zimmermann
111 total reviews for this teacher
Completed by 1 learner
  There are no upcoming classes.
55 minutes
per class
Twice per week
over 4 weeks
year olds
learners per class
per learner - per class

How does a "Multi-Day" course work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

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Class Experience

Learners will discuss, using specific examples, how complex and sensitive topics, such as race, ethnicity, identity, gender, and police brutality, manifest in the novel "Dear Martin" and in our current world.

Learners will explain, in writing, their own perspective and understanding of race, ethnicity, identity, gender, and police brutality as they appear in the novel and in our current world.

Learners will identify appropriate evidence to include in a note-taking graphic organizer. 

Learners will identify key details in a text that relate to a topic.

Learners will explain how key details text relate to a topic.

Learners will analyze how an author's word choice and style impact the message they convey.

Learners will demonstrate active listening in a group discussion setting.

Learners will respond to opposing view points in a civil and constructive manner.

Learners will interpret evidence to support a claim during discussion.

Learners will demonstrate deeper understanding of the novel through a creative project of their choosing.
Masters in the Art of Teaching- English, Language Arts, English Language Learning education, Bilingual education

Due to the sensitive and complex nature of these topics, we will work together as a collaborative group in class one to establish a set of norms that will help every learner understand the foundational rules for discussion throughout the class to promote safety, civility, dignity, and respect for each other and the topics we will discuss. Further, in first two classes, students will receive background information and instruction relating to systemic racism, ethnic and gender discrimination, and the impact of these, along with poverty, on young people in America. 

As a white woman, I am holding this class to uplift a story that is not my own, and I am dedicated to creating and maintaining a safe, respectful space to educate learners on these topics. Discrimination, hate-speech, incivility, racism, and sexism will not be tolerated. 
1. Read the assigned chapters.

Learners will read 5 chapters or sections, or approximately 40 pages, prior to class. This should take approximately 1-2 hours depending on reading speed. The language of this book is conversational, and the lexile level is HL720L, meaning it is classified as a "high-interest, low level novel." 720 is considered "fun" reading for grades 5 and up, so the reading itself should not be difficult or overwhelming. The question writing and ensuing discussion will be the more challenging aspect of this course! This novel is perfect for an avid reader ages 12-17.

2. Write three quality questions based on your role for that week (approximately 20-30 minutes prior to class)

A guide will be provided in class 1 to help students write quality questions.

3. Write a topic sentence that answers the question you wrote to the best of YOUR understanding (approximately 10-15 minutes prior to class.)

A guide will be provided in class 1 to help students write a topic sentence.
 2 files available upon enrollment
Dear Martin by Nic Stone ($11.99 on Amazon) Reading guides and packets will be provided via google docs. Students may either complete these digitally or print them. The final creative project may include additional resources depending on the project that the learner chooses, but nothing is required.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
Students will be informally assessed based on with their participation in the discussion and the three quick-write assignments during the course. After each course, learners will receive personal feedback applauding their strengths and offering specific feedback on how to improve their writing or discussion participation for the following week.
1 hour 50 minutes per week in class, and maybe some time outside of class.
Content warnings from the novel: language, violence, underage alcohol use, racism, death, police brutality, grief
Dear Martin by Nic Stone

"Take a Side!" original slide-show interactive debate activity

"America: Equality for All?" original slide-show presentation


MaryClare Zimmermann
Lives in the United States
Spanish Teacher
111 total reviews
69 completed classes

About Me

¡Hola! My name’s MaryClare, and I’ve been tutoring for 7 years, teaching online for 4 years, and actively working here on Outschool since August 2020! I teach Spanish as a new language, Spanish for heritage speakers, English literacy, and English... 
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