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It's Wednesday in December

School: High Tech High

City/State: San Diego, CA

Grade(s): 12

Format(s): Poetry

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Social Studies

Project Overview

Twelfth grade English students at High Tech High in San Diego, California created this book of poetry as they thought critically about what it means to be active, ethical, responsible, and educated global citizens.

Students each investigated contemporary social problems in locations outside of the U.S.A., and considered the social, political, and historical factors contributing to those problems. After researching these problems students were asked to put a human face on their findings.

Students created poems reflecting an average day for a person living in their area of research and paired them with a poem for an average day in the life of their counterpart in San Diego. Students were inspired by the poem “It’s Sunday Morning in Early November” by Philip Schultz.

The poems are presented side-by-side so that the reader can see the contrasts, and the final product includes poems featuring Africa, the Middle East, South America, the Far East, and Europe.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Exemplifies a powerful way to humanize social issues
  • Shows how format can support and enhance content
  • Excellent example of thought-provoking content that allows the reader to draw his/her own conclusions
  • Highlights an example of an engaging means for exploring contemporary global issues
  • Writing subtly shows in-depth content knowledge
  • Format allows for individual assessment of a student’s work

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can analyze the overall impact of word choices on meaning and tone (including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful).
  • I can analyze how an author’s choices about how to structure specific parts of a text contribute to the overall structure, meaning and aesthetic impact.
  • I can use correct grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • I can use correct capitalization, punctuation and spelling.
  • I can analyze grammar and sentence structure in complex text to aid my comprehension.
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