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1:1 Reading Comprehension, Writing, and ELA Private Class ~ with Mrs. Christine


Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults): A Literature Circle Book Discussion

Students will read the book "Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults): A True Story of the Fight for Justice" by Bryan Stevenson and will hold a weekly student-led discussion, rotating prepared roles for presenting to the group.
Mrs. Russell, M.S. Ed.
361 total reviews for this teacher
New class
  There are no upcoming classes.
year olds
learners per class


Charged upfront
$18 per class
Meets 1x per week
Over 8 weeks
60 minutes per class

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Class Experience

Your job is to make sure the group understands the vocabulary in the text. 
While Reading:
•  Locate all new/challenging vocabulary words and any key words
•  Share definitions for the new words

Your job is to brainstorm questions that the group will discuss. 
While reading:
•Ask clarifying questions 
•Ask questions for discussion

Your job is to make sure the group cites accurate evidence from the text. 
While reading:
•  Find important quotes or evidence in the text
•  During discussion, make sure your team cites evidence from the text

Key Points
Your job is to make sure the team has identified all the key points of the text. 
While reading:
•  Make a list of the most important facts/details from the passage
Your job is to make sure the group holds an understanding of a summary of the text. 
While reading:
•  Write a short summary of the text that includes the key vocabulary and author’s main points

Text Structure
Your job is to identify how the author organizes the information in the text. 
While reading:
•  Identify the text structure
•  Complete the graphic organizer to share with the group

Your job is to make connections between other texts, videos, current events and any other activities on the same topic. 
While reading:
•  Compare and contrast this text with other sources of information (i.e., videos, texts, speeches) on the same topic

Your job is to moderate the discussion and activity. 
You will:
•  Read and explain the directions
•  Begin and close out the activity with the group
•  Be sure the group stays on task.

Text Features
Your job is to explain to the group the information given using captions, photographs, tables, and graphs
•  Look at all the graphics in the text
•  Read each caption
•  Explain what information the graphics give about the topic
My name is Carie Beth Russell.  I live in the Kansas City area with my husband, two daughters and two cats.  I am a former elementary teacher and gifted education specialist.  I have been “home” since my second daughter was born, but have remained active in the field of education by teaching educational summer camps, tutoring and teaching at a homeschool enrichment program. 

My professional priorities center around student-led learning.  It’s my strong conviction that supporting children as they learn, rather than dictating how and what they learn, is the way to encourage their inborn patterns of curiosity, wonder and problem-solving that will serve them well in all stages of being human.  

While my own children attend public school, we very much view education as something we own and must take personal responsibility for.  We work hard at educational advocacy within the public school context.  I teach my daughters to communicate with their teachers, ask for what they need and request amended or extended: depth, duration and scope of projects, units, skills and personal areas of interest.  

Gifted Education services often provide these things for students who have been identified as such, but these standards and the definition of “giftedness” vary from state to state, based generally on funding, and doesn’t allow for many students to qualify.  This leaves an enormous group of students who have “need of different” but no access to a more open-ended and curiosity-led education.  Please understand that when I say enormous, I mean ALL.  

Out School, and other platforms like it, allow students to adapt their learning modalities and pursue interests and learning pathways that intrigue their own very unique minds.  Teaching students to participate in Student Led Learning, in its various formats, allows them to continue on in their own investigations of an amazing planet and human experience, studying past, present and future as they forge their own distinct path. 
Students will read approximately 35 pages from the text each week.

Students will complete their "job" assignment and be prepared to share with the group.
1. A copy of the book (Amazon link below, copy and paste into your browser). *Please note that this course is designed around the version of this book that has been adapted FOR YOUNG ADULTS and not the original book. 2 . Documents, provided by the teacher, printed by student.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
No formal assessment is provided.  Informal assessment available upon request.  
1 hour per week in class, and an estimated 1 - 2 hours per week outside of class.
Just Mercy is a fact-based courtroom drama that tackles the subjects of racism and the death penalty. It centers on idealistic young lawyer Bryan Stevenson, who travels to Alabama to help save a wrongfully convicted man on Death Row. It has strong language, including multiple uses of "s--t" and the "N" word. There are also some violent and/or upsetting scenes, including a police officer pointing his gun at Bryan's head and the lead-up to a character's death by execution. Text also includes somewhat violent dialogue, including discussions of murder (shooting and strangulation), the planting of a bomb, and a character getting burned. There are also moments of anger and hate/racism.  The story isn't surprising, but it's very effective, with clear messages of perseverance, the importance of doing the right thing, fighting hard for those who need it the most, and the problematic relationship between bigotry and justice.


Mrs. Russell, M.S. Ed.
Lives in the United States
Former public general education teacher and gifted education specialist
361 total reviews
160 completed classes

About Me

Hello and Welcome!

About me:
My name is Carie Beth Russell.  I am the mother of two teenagers, an elderly cat and a forever puppy.  I live in the Midwest region of the United States with my family.  

I am a former public elementary school... 
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