Author:
Julia Hatcher
Subject:
Literature, Educational Technology, Elementary Education, English Language Arts, Speaking and Listening
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Level:
Upper Primary, Middle School, High School
Tags:
  • 6th Grade
  • Author's Purpse
  • English Language Arts/Literacy
  • Hidden Figures
  • NE ELA
  • Nebraska Department of Education
  • Reading
  • Template
  • ne-ela
  • reading
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Text/HTML

    Education Standards

    Perspectives in Hidden Figures: Circle of Viewpoints

    Perspectives in Hidden Figures:  Circle of Viewpoints

    Overview

    In this lesson students will examine the characters in a chapter who happen to have differing view points. This is an important factor for success with this lesson. Students will analyze characters and actively express theiir perspectives on different topics and questions.  Students will use their background knowledge,previous learning from the book, and make inferences about the characters. During the "discussion" students use their acting skills to be a partticular character and discuss from that point of view. They will justify the stance they take as they speak in character.  This creates a great understanding of perspective and view points before moving into deeper dives about author's perspectives.

    Challenge: How good are you at imagining what other people are thinking? Today you will be asked to walk in the shoes of a character from Hidden Figures and imagine their perspective.

    Iowa Core Standard: Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.(RI.6.6)

    My I can statements are just teaching/ practicing with my 6th graders the basics of point of view. Later we will dig deeper into what the author may be trying to communicate through her book.

    I can determine point of view of different characters in my book and support my viewpoints with the text.

    Success Criteria:  I can choose a view point and explain how the character would react or think in certain instances. I will explain reasons for my opinions.

    **  I want students to see that our background and experiences determine our beliefs and feelings.  People think differently due to these factors and each of these people are coming into this situation with their own beliefs .  Can they change?   What makes people's perspectives change?    In Hidden Figures?  In your life- today & future?  Is this good? Why?

    I plan to do this later in the book with another set of engaging characters with different perspectives.  I think the discussion will be even richer due to it being the second time.  I may incorporate a discussion board or padlet for more  quiet voices to be "heard"  It might be fun to have this as a basis for a fishbowl or sacratic seminar.

    Circle of Viewpoints Activity

    Step 1: Students should have read to page  47 - through Chapter 6 in Hidden Figures.

    Step 2: Identify Viewpoints: Studnents could help identify these but these are the different people that occur in this chapter.  Go through each and describe and discuss each characterr's basics. (I plan to make name tags or Placrds for each character also, so if a student takes this role it will be very obvious to the other students whose perspective he is speaking from).

    • Dorthy Vaughn black "computer"
    • Mark-white male engineer
    • Carol- white section head (Leader of black "computers"
    • Miriam Mann- black "computer"
    • Miriam's husband
    • Malcolm McLean-white professor of university nearby

    Step 3: Elect a Viewpoint to Explore & Discussion: Ask students to select a viewpoint that they want to explore. To model this you may want to select one to do together.  I might start with the college president: "A thought I have fromt he viewpoint of Malcolm McLean is I am thrilled that we have these black women working in such an important job at Langley. I think they should be called mathematicians not computers.  I believe this because I have many black women in my college who are just as smart as white women and black or white men."  

    * Maybe at this point students would pick a person from the list or assign a group a person and they could write  how they would comment to Malcolm McLean with this viewpoint.

    These pauses might help kids develop their thoughts more than being too quick. 

    I listed topics for discussion on the student page but you can elect to not give these to students instead have students brainstorm their own topics.  Below are general ideas  

    1. Respond to the "I think... " prompt: Ask students to take on a character of their viewpoint and describe the topic from that perspective. Suggest these prompts "What does this character think about the event of situation?", "What is their take?", "What do they think of this?" Allow students time to think about this and image what this person or thing could be considering.
    2. Respond to the "A question I have from the viewpoint... " prompt: Ask students to image what this person or thing might be puzzled or curious about and create a question from that viewpoint. Provide time for them to generate and or record ideas. You may want to model what it looks like to think or ask questions that go beyond the surface of the topic.
    3. Share the Thinking: Determine if sharing will occur in small groups or as a whole class. Ask each person to introduce their viewpoint, state their thinking from that viewpoint and questions. Document the main thread and note the difference in viewpoints.

    Step 4:  Reflection: 

            Discuss in your group or write first:

      What did you think of this activity?

    How did it make you think differently?

    How is it a good thing to think about people's perspectives not only in the past but now  today?

    Success Criteria:  I can choose a view point or perspective and explain how the character would react or think in certain instances. I will explain reasons for my opinions.

    How did you do on this?  What could you do next time  improve on this protocol?

        Journal Writing:  When I started the class I felt ____________ about this character____________ now I think _______________.   This might show a change in thinking and make students learning and thinking visible. This could be used as an online discussion starter too. 

                   

     

    Iowa Core Standard: Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.(RI.6.6)

    I can determine point of view of different characters in my book and support my viewpoints with reasoning. 

    Success Criteria:  I can choose a view point and explain how the character would react or think in certain instances. I will explain reasons for my opinions.

    Circle of Viewpoints Activity

    Step 1: You should have read to page  47 - through Chapter 6 in Hidden Figures.

    Step 2: View the different people that are in this part of the book below (or your teacher may have this as a visual in the classroom).

    • Dorthy Vaughn black "computer"
    • Mark-white male engineer
    • Carol- white section head (Leader of black "computers"
    • Miriam Mann- black "computer"
    • Miriam's husband
    • Malcolm McLean-white professor of university nearby

    Think about these character in this chapter- write some basic information beside them.

    Step 3: Perspectives:  Notw think about their view points or perspective on some different events going on in the book. How would each person feel about these facts? What action might they take? What questions would they have?  Think about these ideas from the different viewpoints.

     The removing of the sign by Mariam in the cafeteria and the person putting it back up each day. 

    The fact the college president invites black people to his party.

    The fact they have black women "computers" hired to this this important work.

    The fact that white women are the section heads. 

    The fact that white engineers bring the work to them each day.

    The fact that there are segrated bathrooms and cafeterias.

    The fact that there is not equal pay for women when they do the same work as men.

    The fact that men are called mathematicians and women are called computers for the same work.

    ** These are just a few- I bet you can think of more.

    Step 4: Discussion:  When you share a view point you will say, "From the view point of _________________ I think....  my question is...   I believe.... I feel ... etc.  

    Be respectul and use your attentive listening.  We will start as a whole group and then move into small groups so you'll have more chances to speak.

    Step 5: Reflection:  

    Group Conversation: 

     What did you think of this activity?

    How did it make you think differently?

    How is it a good thing to think about people's perspectives not only in the past but now  today?

    **Look back at the Success Criteria.  How did you do?   What could you do to improve on using this protocol next time?

     Online discussion: Log into Moodle (or Padlet)  I would like you to think about what you thought about these characters before today's lesson and what you might be thinking now after our discussion today.  I'd like to see some new revelations or ideas you noticed as you took part in this activity today.

    For your post:   When I started the class I felt ____________ about the character____________ now I think _______________ because __________________________---

    Tomorrow we will respond to other's posts.