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EFTI Conference April 30, 2010. Caste & Literature. Presenters. Lisa Levi English Teacher, Franklin High School. Gwen Duralek Social Studies Teacher, Franklin High School. Engaging students in literature. Use of primary source documents Reading Like a Historian. Vedic Age.

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Lisa Levi

English Teacher, Franklin High School

Gwen Duralek

Social Studies Teacher, Franklin High School

engaging students in literature
Engaging students in literature
  • Use of primary source documents
    • Reading Like a Historian
vedic age
Vedic Age
  • How to introduce this age to students?
    • English classroom
      • Culture intro, with timeline, that is often accompanied in many anthologies.
    • Social studies classroom
      • World map exercise, illustrating the incursion into the Indian subcontinent via the Khyber Pass.
which materials
Which materials?
  • Rig-Vedas
  • Mahabharata
  • Ramayana

Vedic image: http://tdil.mit.gov.in/vedicjan04/images/ATHARVA-VEDA%5B1%5D.jpg

assessing for understanding
Assessing for understanding
  • Essential questions
  • Small group simulation with journal entry activity
  • Artistic illustration of the levels of caste (picture, poster, 3D representation, etc.) with a textual reference associated to each level.
  • Interactive student notebook entry
  • Rejection of the caste system
    • Accepted by those of lower social standing
mughal influence
Mughal influence
  • Introduction of Islam brings a sense of egalitarianism.
    • Webquest through British Museum site
british colonization
British colonization
  • Textual references:
post independence
  • First 5:30 of So Far From India
  • 15:45 discusses how they lived in the 40,s, and the perception of the downstairs tenants of why they didn’t sit with them. Old tenants take the market goods from the sisters. (til 18:00)
  • 1947 kingdoms abolished, no longer had royal patronage.
  • 24-25:30, sisters on bed with Ashok, wife on floor. Sisters describe the boy, looks like Ashok, but they can’t tell his temperament yet… cunning/innocent.
  • 30-3130, discussion of marrying only b/c of his departure to America.
  • Last 4 minutes, disc of America v India – Am has money, but India has humaneness
india cabaret definitely can t show this in a classroom
India Cabaret – definitely can’t show this in a classroom!
  • 4:30-6:30, married at 8, left to husband’s house at 14 had a child1 year later, husband started prostituting her. Left for parents’ home, was rejected there, too. Started dancing, since she needed money.
  • 8:30-9:20 – disc among the men about how they want virtuous virgins, and that women’s place is in the four walls of the home
  • 2845 – disc between patron & his stay at home wife about him attending the cabaret. About 4 minutes prior, patron explained to his wife that he married her, and her job is to wait for him.
  • 37- 4030: disc of role of women, patron’s wife & dancer. 3 virtuous women at gates of heaven…
  • 45: she can’t go into her parents’ home, she’s already polluted.
twenty first century
Twenty-first Century
  • Perception of caste in India
  • Perception of caste in America, among Americans (not of Indian descent)
  • Perception of caste in America, among Indian Americans and ex-pat Indians
to the future
To the future…
  • Market-state changing the role of governments and of society
    • Internet the great equalizer
    • Equity among Global North / Global South
      • Where does India fit into this division?
  • Asia for Educators (Columbia University)
  • Recommended Literature Search (California Dept of Education)
  • The Story of India (PBS)
  • Online Museum Resources for Asian Art