The Ins and Outs of Bewilderment

Suleni Sabio-Arzu (SEL Scholar)

This podcast will describe the relationship between Richard Powers’ Bewilderment and the presence of Social/Emotional Learning in the classroom. Bewilderment is a novel bringing to light the issues that Special Needs Families face on a daily basis. As a Widowed father, Theo Byrne is faced with navigating school relations all on his own. Here is my take on Bewilderment by Richard Powers in relation to the movies Inside Out, a film exploring the social and emotional depths of childhood.

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PBL Podcast *The Fortune Men Edition* (Feat. Caroline, Chris, Fiona, & Henry)

The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed is set in Cardiff, Wales during the 1950s. Mohamed waited for this book to be her third novel for it to be the best quality possible. Nadifa has done justice to the protagonist Mahmood’s story especially because he had a connection to her father. The story deals with the ideas of the immigrant life and all the hardships they face, including racism, religious strife, and the sense of a lack of belonging. Throughout the book, Nadifa illustrates how Mahmood displays virtues of perseverance and courage, but how they also hurt him. In this podcast, we will discuss the major themes of the book and how we have grown as a group through this PBL process. 

Click the link at the top of the post to listen now! 

Posted in 2021 Booker Prize Short List, Book Reviews, booker prize, Collaboration, Educational Video, English IV Honors, Fortune Men, Lit Circles, Literature Circles aka #litcircles, Place-Based Learning, Podcast, Project Based Learning, Project-Based Learning, Reading, Social-Emotional Learning | Leave a comment

Broken Promises, Even After Death

In our English IV Honors class, we have chosen Damon Galgut’s The Promise, and have been engaging in literature circles. We discuss the novel, help each other understand confusing parts, complete projects, and enjoy reading literature. Themes of death, family and racial issues, relationships, and many more appear constantly in our book, which we discuss in our podcast. While reading Damon Galgut’s The Promise, we immediately saw differences between this novel and our previous literature circle novel Bewilderment. Because this is our second book, we are able to compare it to another Booker Prize novel, which adds a whole new layer of analysis to our project. The Promise has a unique narrative style that made the novel a bit of a challenging read at the start. The omnipresent and stream-of-consciousness style of narration made it difficult to follow dialogue and characters. Although the challenge level never faltered, as we continued to read, we adjusted to it and began to pick apart a lot of the important aspects and themes of the novel. Overall, we have thoroughly enjoyed reading The Promise and furthering our understanding of literature.

Please check out our podcast! 

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The Groundbreaking Circle

Our lit circle has been loving Maggie Shipstead’s 2021 Booker Prize nominated novel Great Circle! Being an all-female group, Shipstead’s emphasis on feminism as really caught our attention and made this book very engaging. We appreciate how she highlights the struggles of being a female in a male dominated career, and how strong she has made these women in order to overcome their setbacks. Marian Graves knew she had to go into uncharted territory, doing something no one had ever done before in order to be noticed as a female pilot. Hadley Baxter has to navigate the tricky life of stardom, balancing her mistakes and choices with the watchful eye of the press and the public never leaving her side. Through it all, these women truly are empowering symbols for all who have the pleasure of reading this book.

We have composed a podcast discussing feminism in addition to more of our favorite themes and moments of this groundbreaking novel which we have linked here. We also discuss our journey through project based learning (PBL) and social emotional learning (SEL). We encourage you to take a listen and go on this deep dive journey with us as we learn more!

The Great Circle Final Podcast

Posted in #PBL #StudentCentered, 2021 Booker Prize Short List, 21st Century Skills, English IV Honors, Feminism, Learning Through Technology, Lit Circles, maggieshipstead, PBL Public Program, Podcast, Project Based Learning, Reflection | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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Get Bewildered!

Join us in our brand-new debut series Get Bewildered as Zeno, Paige, and Camille discuss Richard Powers’ brand new novel Bewilderment. Bewilderment is one of the first ever novels written in a brand-new genre of book cli-fi, a combination of climate and fiction to make this one-of-a-kind novel! Our podcasters travel across space from planet to planet as we dive into different ideas such as mental health, climate change, grief, and loss. On this episode, we host one of our lucky listeners who will bring insights on some literary elements that Powers decided to implement such as quotation style and pronoun use.

Posted in #CliFi Climate Fiction, #PBL #StudentCentered, 2021 Booker Prize Short List, English IV Honors, Lit Circles, Sustainability | Tagged | Leave a comment

Tackling Injustice in The Fortune Men

The Fortune Men, by Nadifa Mohamed, is a compelling historical novel that examines the societal norms of racial injustice. The plot revolves around the palpable tension between Violet, who was gruesomely murdered outside of her families’ shop, and a petty thief, Mahmood, who struggles to provide for his family and is wrongfully convicted of Violet’s murder. Evidence of racism, classism, gender discrimination compounded by grief are all present within the beginning chapters. Racism is showcased through the lens of Mahmood’s marriage with Laura, where her family disapproves of her intimacy with a black man. Mohamed showcases this blatant racism when the police come knocking on Mahmood’s boarding house door, questioning all of the black men about the murder, entering without a warrant, simply because they’re black. Introducing strong themes so early on grasps the reader’s attention to see how the Cardiff’s unfair and discriminatory society plays a role in the rest of the novel. The novel dramatizes systemic racism in the British justice system.

Written by your favorite HQPBL authors: Hannah, Trent, Jae, Sander, Ben, and Jina.  


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How Alienation Leads to Broken Promises – A Podcast on The Promise

Listen to Karrah and Manoush’s new podcast on the 2021 Booker Prize-winning novel The Promise by Damon Galgut. The two take a deep dive into the novel’s themes of separation and alienation, focusing on how it directly leads to breaking promises.

Posted in #PBL #StudentCentered, #PennPBL, 2021 Booker Prize Short List, English IV Honors, Literature Circles aka #litcircles | Tagged | Leave a comment

Circle Up!

Check out Izzy & Tessa’s new podcast on Maggie Shipstead’s novel, Great Circle. With an emphasis on style and pattern, they investigate the unique structure and themes of the novel, from femininity to family. Join them to listen to their own thoughts and reactions as they work through the book!

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Feminism in Great Circle

Our #LitCircle recently started reading Maggie Shipstead’s 2021 novel GreatCircle, which was nominated for the Booker Prize. The novel tells the story of Marian Graves, a fictional female pilot, who attempts to fly around the world. At the same time, she tells Hadley’s story. She is a modern-day Hollywood actress who plays the role of Marian in a new movie. This novel presents feminism in a great way as the reader gets an opportunity to observe how society treats women differently between the 20th and 21st centuries. We can’t wait to find out more!

Posted in 2021 Booker Prize Short List, English IV Honors, Feminism, Literature Circles aka #litcircles, Pleasure Reading, Project-Based Learning | Tagged | Leave a comment