Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District News Article

Heights High English Class Examines Theme of Power

Aug. 18, 2021 -- A group of 20 Heights High School freshmen and sophomores created an impactful photo and essay piece surrounding the theme of power.

As part of Dr. Hannah Reid’s summer English class, the students read the 2020 novel Dear Justyce by Nic Stone. The story is about an incarcerated teen who writes letters about his experiences in the American prison system.

“Never, have I ever had ninth and tenth graders come running into my room asking to read, but they absolutely did with this book,” said Dr. Reid. “It was amazing to see them engage with the novel.”

During the book study, students had conversations and Socratic seminars around defining power, understanding implicit bias, character development, plot, symbolism, and motivation. The students read nonfiction texts and studied the vocabulary that went along with power and social justice. They wrote reflections in their journals that culminated in a five-paragraph essay, and even wrote letters to the author with questions and their favorite parts of the book.

The culminating project was Through Students' Eyes (TSE), a project that was developed by former colleagues of Dr. Reid more than 15 years ago. TSE uses a technique called “photovoice,” allowing students to express their opinions through photography and writing. Using TSE as a framework, the Heights High students wrote about the concept of power and took photos that represented power to them in various settings. Their final projects can be viewed here:

An Exploration of Power: Through Students' Eyes

“I am in awe of the work these amazing students have done,” said Dr. Reid. This is what they are capable of when given the opportunity!”
Images of Power 

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