Lauded Los Angeles Literature: 5 Great Posts from LA

Posted by Ben Gross on December 16, 2013

The Danger of a Single Story

This piece explores “a 2009 TED Talk by Chimamanda Adichie, a young Nigerian author, provides a Africa-not-a-single-story-poster-268x200powerful tool for the Facing History classroom. In the twenty minute video, Adichie describes the powerful impression the multitude of British stories made on her as a young girl growing up in Nigeria. She argues that inherent in the power of stories, is a danger—the danger of only knowing one story about a group. ‘The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.’”

What are you?

Identities are complex. How do you respond when someone looks at you and tries to figure "what" you might be…What are you

“My husband and I share a lot in common. We both grew up in Los Angeles, we’re also both experienced history teachers and seasoned high school coaches. It’s also worth mentioning that he’s white and I’m Mexican. Since there is nothing usual about this in the 21st century, in vastly diverse Los Angeles, I wasn’t quite ready eight years ago when my oldest came home from kindergarten with all sorts of questions and insecurities about identity. At age five, she had already been called upon to explain herself to peers who wanted to know, ‘What ARE you?’”

Spiderman’s Universe of Obligation

Interested in exploring the concept of Universe of Obligation? Love super heroes? Do your students love super heroes? Check out this post!spiderman

“Peter Parker’s transformation into Spiderman provides my favorite example of an expanding universe of obligation. Some of my students are so young that they haven’t seen the movie. It doesn’t matter, everyone likes a good story. “


Little Lies I Told Myself

Stephanie Carrillo reflects on the choices that she has made and why being an Upstander is important in our daily lives…Little Lies

“I hate to admit it, but I told a few lies to myself this weekend. Not an accidental lie to myself, such as when I proclaim, “I’m going for a run today,” but then somehow let the morning get away without lacing up my shoes. I don’t usually feel badly about those untruths (okay, maybe just a little) but this weekend’s falsities kept me up at night. What horrible lies had I told? “

Cartoons as Protest

This post delves into the work of anti-Nazi cartoonist Arthur Szyk and ways that art can be used to explore history in the classroom.Szyk-poker-game-268x200

“I loved using cartoons when I was teaching high school–political cartoons, children’s books, and especially the way Bugs Bunny, Sargent SNAFU, and others were used during World War II. (I used the video, Cartoons Go To War, but I’m sure there are other sources for these as well.) There is also a great collection of Dr. Seuss’ work during World War II. One person I was not familiar with, however, was the artist Arthur Szyk.”

I hope you enjoyed my picks for this year's "Best of the Blogs"! What are your favourite Facing History blogs this year? I'd love to hear which ones you would have chosen. Please comment below, should you choose to share!

Topics: Choosing to Participate, Human Rights, Facing History Resources, Best of..., Lesson Ideas, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, Social Justice, reflection


This is where Canadian Facing History and Ourselves teachers and community members meet to share reflections, scholarship and teaching practices that will inspire, challenge and improve teaching and student learning. Our stories provide a window into diverse Facing History classrooms in Canada, and invite you into the discussion.

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