Grade: Advanced

#1285. KKK and Jonathan Edwards

Reading/Writing, level: Advanced
Posted Wed Sep 1 18:22:34 PDT 1999 by brian kulak (
audubon high school, audubon, nj
Materials Required: video
Activity Time: 45 min.
Concepts Taught: Preying on the weak: Edwards and the KKK

i used this while i was student teaching in a predominantly minority school and, although a risk, it worked well because my kids were mature enough to handle it.

after viewing the intro. to a piece on 48 Hours on the KKK i decided to push record and see what was up. the piece focused on varying degrees of hate and the people that fall prey to such pitfalls. in it you meet a former kkk member, a current grandwizard, and a man whose grandfathr was killed by the clan. the piece runs for about twenty minutes and includes some graphic scenes of violence and hate.

the idea was to get kids to realize that this form of oratory, manipulation, and lunacy is not akin to one hate group or even a recent trend. we then read excerpts from Edwards' "Sinners..." Amazingly, before i could provide a graphic organizer or ask questions, kids jumped out of their desks to comment. they constructed their own chart of similarities and differences between the video and the prominent puritan. some were angry, some incredulous, and some speechless. but the point is they got it. they drew parallels between puritanical propaganda based on fear and ignorance and the modern day counterpart featured on the video. it was risky but amazing. good luck.