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Red Scarf Girl

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Red Scarf Girl

This is a memoir about a girl who is 12 growing up during the time of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. This is a great book for middle school students. The focus of the author's hopefulness and how she changes, grows up because of the events that happen.

Amplify has a great curriculum that incorporates text-based writing. This is a piloted program that LAUSD or possibly some schools may adopt. Red Scarf girl is included in the 7th grade unit.

If you are able to read this memoir with your students, it's a very relatable story, despite the cultural differences. Students can identify with Ji-Li's struggles and feelings.

Brigid Schmidt
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Red Scarf Girl

Over spring break I took a class on the Holocaust and Human Behavior. Red Scarf Girl was one of the books we had to read for the course. We also received a "Teaching the Red Scarf Girl" Teaching Guide book with many ideas for lessons and discussions for Middle School grades. Red Scarf Girl takes place in Shanghai, China in 1966 and is about Ji-Li and her family. The book is during the Cultural Revolution and describes how her family was treated by the Communist Party due to being well educated and affluent. Although this course is about ancient Asia, this book opens students up to China's past and culture. In addition, this book teaches the students courage, equality, and loyalty. 

Furthermore, the teaching guides offers extensions to the book, and one idea I liked was Reader’s Theater. My students really enjoy presenting in groups and presenting part of the text almost like a play could really help get them engaged in the story. I also like the extension that allows students to Illustrate a scene. In middle school, students do less “art” type projects and more writing and structured work. As a previous art teacher, I always am looking for way to relate our readings or assignments with art to reach my visual and more creative learners.