English 11 2009-2010
Independent Reading

Journaling the Injustice

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
-MLK's Letter from the Birmingham Jail

You will write 2 journal responses a week focused on your independent reading book.

These questions will guide you in response to the overriding question:

How does injustice affect a community?
Your responses will be the basis of your discussion in Friday small group discussions. Whereever possible, you will point out connections between your individual text and The Crucible.

In each journal entry, make sure that you are using direct evidence from your text AND applying the reading/writing skills we discuss in class!

Week #1 prompts:

Journal Prompt 1—
  • Describe the community (-ies) in your book—What are its people like? Who are its main characters and what role do they play for the community?
  • Identify community ideals—What are the ideals/values of the community? Who decides these values?

Journal Prompt 2—

  • Describe the social injustice(s) and the role the various communities play in this instance of unfair human behavior.

Week #2 prompts::

Journal Prompt 3—
  • Evaluate the oppressors and the oppressed within your book. How do the oppressors take advantage of the oppressed?
Journal Prompt 4—
  • What inferences might you make about the people in positions of power/authority? What is their motivation to abuse power?

Week #3:

Journal Prompt 5—
  • What is it about the oppressed that make them easy targets of injustice? How might the oppressed fight back?

Journal Prompt 6—
  • Choose one character to analyze in terms of his/her current situation. How do they arrive at that point in their lives? Predict whether or not there is hope of overcoming the injustice placed on them.

Week #4:

Journal Prompt 7—
Comment on characters in positions of authority who recognize the injustice. What do they do to effect change? Are they successful? Why or why not?
Journal Prompt 8—
What happens to your main character(s) at the end of your book? Have they been freed from injustice? If yes, how do they accomplish this? If not, does their situation remain hopeless? Explain.

Example Notebook Set-up:


Title and Author (Pages Read)

Journal Prompt #1:
Describe the community—What are the people like? Who are the main characters and what are their main roles within the community?
Identify community ideals—What are the ideals/values of the community? Who decides these values?

This is where you articulate your response to the journal questions in paragraph form. Use specific evidence from the text to form an analysis of the literature—just as we do in class with The Crucible.