Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Frisch LEADs Continues to Inspire

The student-designed learning taking place for the Frisch LEADs project this year continues to inspire me. To become familiar with what Mrs. Ruth Wang-Birnbaum, Rabbi Dan Rosen and I are asking our AP English Literature seniors at The Frisch School to do, click on the following links:

Welcome to Frisch LEADs

Introduction to Format of Frisch LEADs

A Set of Blog Prompts and Blog Requirements

I've blogged before about stellar examples of the student projects, and I continue to be impressed with the students' work. Here are some highlights from Frisch LEADs:

1) Of Fathers and the Godfathers
R. Freilich is writing about mafia families, combining her and her family's, particularly her and her father's, love of watching mafia movies. It's so appropriate that R. Freilich has chosen to do a project on the mafia because of a bond she shares with her father. All irony aside, I love the fact that R. Freilich's project is based on good times she has shared with her own family, so that school can be a place not only to deepen learning about a topic the family has introduced into a student's life, but also a space to validate and grow an emotional bond a student feels with her parents and siblings.

R. Freilich's Blog

For the latest blog post assignments, I had students use their new knowledge of poetic techniques, learned while we studied Hamlet, to write a poem on their Frisch LEADs topic. R. Freilich distinguished herself as a poet by using imagery and allusion to great effect in her poem, Creation. Check out her blog post, Mafia Poetry, a genre I don't think is explored enough in the canon. All that may soon change; check this out:

Mafia Poetry

2) Interdisciplinary Project on Charity
E. Levine is another student doing a great job on her Frisch LEADs assignment, particularly because of her interdisciplinary analysis of charity. I especially liked how E. Levine was able to use a work she had read in her sophomore year, The Canterbury Tales, in order to create a literary tie to charity. I didn't suggest the connection to Chaucer; all I asked the student to do was include a work of literature in the project. It was E. Levine who drew on her own knowledge, came up with The Canterbury Tales, and then applied it in a sophisticated way to her project. Check out E. Levine's layered look at doing good:

A Multi-Disciplinary Look at Charity

3) From Beauty to Anti-Bullying

Reading about how A. Rubin's project evolved from the beginning of the year until now is fascinating, as you can find out how her idea develops from being about myth in different cultures to perspectives on beauty. A. Rubin's project is also notable for the way she wants to make what she has learned relevant and meaningful for The Frisch School community by planning an event for the freshmen that the seniors run. Creating purpose to deepen the learning experience is one of the goals of Frisch LEADs. Check out A. Rubin's thoughtful blog here:

A. Rubin's Blog on Beauty

4) Jaws Year

I wanted to share C. Zucker's blog in order to show you the range of the Frisch LEADs' projects. So far, you've seen projects on mafia families, charity and differing ideals of beauty. Let's now add sharks to that list, and let me share C. Zucker's engaging and visually exciting blog, which makes great use of the medium and its ability to hold text, images and film easily. What I love about this blog is that this topic is so obviously an interest of the student's, and I don't know when else in high school she would have had the chance to explore it.

C. Zucker's Shark Blog

5) Myth Unplugged

E. Rosen continues to impress her classmates by the depth and breadth of her research. She's also happy to share her work with the world and allow anyone to gain from the information she has accumulated. See also on E. Rosen's blog her thoughts on student use of her work and whether she's encouraging laziness in peers studying myth by gathering so many stories for them to use in their work. Another thought-provoking blog post by this student blog shows her meta-cognition, as she muses about the demographics of the people reading her posts.

E. Rosen's Blog on Comparative Myth

I hope you enjoyed this latest sampling of student blogs. Feel free to post your responses to them on this one!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Blended Learning and Whole-Person Learning

What is Blended Learning?

We've all been hearing a lot of talk about online, blended learning, and I've been scouring the internet finding definitions for it and seeing how it's being implemented in different schools. This week, I had an opportunity to attend a two-hour conference blended learning, and doing so confirmed some of the thoughts I've been having about it.

First, let's define terms. Here is Penn State's definition of blended learning, which Wikipedia picked up:

A blended learning approach combines face to face classroom methods with computer-mediated activities to form an integrated instructional approach. 

The goal of a blended approach is to join the best aspects of both face to face and online instruction. Classroom time can be used to engage students in advanced interactive experiences.  

This is the link to the Penn State website on its blended learning philosophy:
What is Blended Learning?

Three Models of Blended Learning

Three models for blended learning seem to be popular in elementary and high school environments:

Rotation: Lab
Rotation: Classroom

To learn more about these three models, go to the following site:

Blended Learning Models

The blended learning models discussed on the Education Elements site are being implemented in a formal and well conceived manner, but if you're a teacher using digital media in any way, you're probably also experimenting with and/or implementing blended learning in your classroom, in ways that particularly enrich your curriculum.

Blended Learning in the High School Classroom

For example, I'm blending my AP Art History course this year, so I can teach chronologically in the classroom, but have students become familiar in my class blog with upcoming eras, various artists and styles, and non-Western art I may not have time to get to in the curriculum. Here is a link to a blog post that has students consider the effects of the Classical world in art. I gave the assignment to my students once we had studied the Greco-Roman time period, and now I know that when we get to time periods such as the Renaissance, the Neo-Classical era, Modernism and postmodernism, students will have prior knowledge I can activate:

The Greco-Roman World Lives On and On and On . . .


Some of the educators I've spoken to who are interested in blended learning are intrigued by it partly because the formal model of it has been touted as economically friendly. Before investing in the expense of "going blended," I'd like to offer my humble opinion.

In any presentation you're going to hear about blended learning, I can guarantee you that you're going to be shown a chart of Bloom's Taxonomy:

Then you're going to be told that blended learning allows a teacher to develop higher order thinking rather than focus on remembering and understanding. The plan with blended learning is that once students complete  their online learning, some form of software with course content that gives teachers data about student performance, they will then be ready for small-group instruction. During small-group instruction, the teacher can spend time asking students to apply and analyze what they've learned, and then students can work in groups to evaluate their new knowledge and create original content with it. I love that last part. I definitely want to see more project-based learning in schools.

These are my impressions:

As an English teacher, I'm intrigued by the notion that I can use software that will force students to italicize the name of a play or novel or capitalize only proper nouns, before they can advance to the next grammatical exercise. I'm so sick of teaching the same grammar lesson over and over, only to have students completely ignore a rule they learned on the next assignment they hand in. Teaching grammar is a Groundhog Day nightmare for me.

I'm also interested in having data about students' knowledge of grammar and of their ability to create sound arguments that they must back up with sufficient evidence. This data is attainable through the ELA software programs developed for online, blended learning, and having the computer do some of the dirty work of the English Language Arts classroom sounds delightful.

My problem lies in the way the blended learning model is being developed. When I asked at the conference I attended what kind of interdisciplinary lessons are being implemented in the blended learning models being touted, the reply was none.

Therefore, while the blended learning model is offering a lot of new data that teachers can get excited about, time for whole-body learning, and perhaps a price point that is appealing as well, educationally it may not be offering the whole-person learning experience that I think should be at the center of education today.

Whole-Person Learning

Here is an article from the New York Times about a physics teacher from Louisville, Kentucky named Jeffrey Wright who says the following:

“When you look at physics, it’s all about laws and how the world works . . . But if you don’t tie those laws into a much bigger purpose, the purpose in your heart, then they [students] are going to sit there and ask the question ‘Who cares?’
“Kids are very spiritual — they want a bigger purpose. . . . "

For the rest of this inspiring article about Mr. Wright and his inventive approach to teaching physics as well as the affecting lesson he gives his students on his struggles with his own developmentally-challenged son, click on the link:

Laws of Physics Can't Trump the Bonds of Love

We must engage the whole child, and we cannot do so if we continue to set up courses as discrete units that don't have relevance to and interact with each other. My job as Coordinator of Interdisciplinary Studies is to create those connections among the students' classes, so that students not only see that one class is necessary for an understanding of another, but that all their classes connect to who they are as human beings and will help them understand what their higher purpose in the world is.

If we remain on an educational course that doesn't plan for those larger aims from the onset of the curriculum planning process, then students may or may not be lucky enough to have a Mr. Wright in their lives, and their formation as whole people will be a rockier process or may never happen satisfactorily at all. In a religious school such as Frisch, where I teach, the creation of meaning and religious purposefulness is crucial in curriculum development, but Mr. Wright shows that all people yearn for meaning in their lives. We all want to feel that what we do has a higher purpose, and students deserve a way to be shown that the interests and passions they have can be used to make a positive difference on this planet.

Let's be honest, when we read any article about good teachers, you know, the ones all students love and people make after-school specials about, we know that those are the ones who are thinking about students as whole people and not just as containers to hold math, history or science knowledge. So anyone in education today has to make sure that we create a system where students are engaged in whole-body and whole-person learning, what my son Solomon, a junior at Frisch, calls, respectively, "physical" and "spiritual" learning.

Therefore, my conclusion about blended learning for now is that it is a tool. It's an interesting tool with a lot of potential, but the potential must be harnessed correctly by thoughtful educators.

To end, I'll quote one of the current sages in the field of education reform, Will Richardson:

"Learning without love isn’t learning; it's production."

Let's make sure our students love what they learn, learn what they love, and learn to love while they learn.

Additional Resources:

For more information on interdisciplinary studies, see below:

My colleague Rabbi Tzvi Pittinsky sent me this article from Edutopia on interdisciplinary studies, which explains how integration among subjects allows for deeper learning:

Deeper Learning: Why Cross-Curricular Teaching is Essential

Finally, to find out more about my work in interdisciplinary studies, click on the following link:

Trying to Teach Well and Good: About My Work

Friday, January 11, 2013

About My Work

About my work:

Interdisciplinary Studies

I began my work in interdisciplinary studies at Frisch by meeting with Torah and Nakh teachers to see where in their syllabi students would benefit from and appreciate a look into the cultures that form the backdrop of the Biblical books. The interdisciplinary units that resulted from that planning and which AVICHAI funded include:

  • Paganism vs. Monotheism: A comparison of the ancient Near Eastern pagan worldview with Abraham’s monotheistic one
  • Fertility and Wells: Wells as fertility symbols and Isaac’s well digging
  • Jacob on the DL (disabled list): Achilles, Oedipus and the significance of leg injuries (one of my personal favorites)
  • Joseph in Egypt: A comparison of Mesopotamian and Egyptian lifestyles (adapted for elementary school as well)
  • God attacks Egypt: The might of the Egyptian empire and God’s response (a 2-part series)
  • The Hammurabi Code and Biblical Law
  • The Mishkan and Art in the Ancient World
  • Ancient Military Encampments vs. the Israelite Encampment in Numbers
  • Purity in the Camp: A look at Sotah and ancient adultery law
  • Prophecy and Divination in the Torah and the Ancient World: Balaam and his powers
  • The Power of Shema: Deuteronomy’s Message
  • Solomon’s Temple vs. Temples in the Ancient Near East
  • Assyrian Might in the Books of the Prophets
  • Jonah, Pinocchio and the Meaning of the Foray into the Fish’s Stomach
  • Palaces and Parties: The Achaemenid Court and Esther
  • What Ruth Corrects in Levirate Law: A comparison of levirate law in the ancient world and its significance in the Ruth story
  • Co-taught with a Nakh teacher: a three-part series on literature, art and music in Judaism; I prepared the art and most of the literature part of the sessions

Here is a link to many of my integration units:

As Chairman of the English Department, I've overseen the establishment of set standards in grammar and research in my school's four-year program; combined Honors American Literature with AP English Language in the junior year, making the course both literary and media-based; and planned, taught and continue to teach an integrated senior elective called Hot Topics, which uses literature, art, film and Judaic sources to look at medical ethics and racism today. Here is a link to the wiki page that best features the interdisciplinary and multi-media nature of the Hot Topics course:

[If you want access to any of the links to the Frisch wiki, please contact me at The wiki is password-protected, but I have a guest password for educators.]

As Coordinator of Interdisciplinary Studies, I’ve worked with each department in the school to learn how the topics in each course might fit into a theme I selected for each grade. I co-created and wrote the content for a school wiki, where each grade can interact with different topics pertaining to that grade’s theme. The grades' themes:

Freshmen: Identity
Sophomores: Exploration
Juniors: Conflict
Seniors: Integration

The wiki pages aren't divided by course, but rather by topics common to myriad classes. Freshmen, for example, under the theme of identity, can learn about the topic of leadership by studying it through the lens of their literature, history, and Tanakh classes. I co-wrote an article with Rabbi Tzvi Pittinsky about the school-wide wiki in the Lookstein Journal, Jewish Educational Leadership:

I also created, organized and now oversee interdisciplinary days of learning for grades 9-11, ones that pertain to each grade’s themes. The ninth grade integration day is fate and free will, the tenth grade day is censorship and book burning, and the eleventh grade day is the Holocaust. We planned the eleventh grade integration day with a school in Israel, enabling us to have a global classroom.

I grew a week-long integrated study of the Greeks into Frisch Greek week, where ninth graders focus on what the Greeks contributed to the world and learn where to draw the line between what secular cultures can give Judaism and ways in which secular environments harm our religion.

In the tenth grade, I developed the Frisch Africa Encounter, a month-long study of the African continent that culminates in an evening for parents, students and teachers. As part of the month-long program, students read either The Posionwood Bible or Little Bee and complete a research project in history that they then convert into digital media for the presentation night. Students also learn about the integration of Ethiopian Jewry into Israeli society; debate what Israel should do about African refugees; repurpose discarded materials into works of art; and raise money for Innovation: Africa, an organization that uses sustainable Israeli technologies to improve life in African countries. At the evening for the Frisch community, sophomores share their exploration of African art, culture, economies, and social entrepreneurs with the school community.


The modern world needs people with a complex identity who are intellectually autonomous and prepared to cope with uncertainty; who are able to draw inferences and can control their behavior in the light of foreseen consequences, who are altruistic and enjoy doing for others, and who understand social forces and trends."

-- Robert Havighurst, 20th-century American psychologist

Last year I began RealSchool (RS), a program that advocates for and models education reform by having students engage in self-designed, collaborative, inquiry-based learning. The teams in the club are formed based on students’ interests and generally include subjects not taught in the traditional classroom. RS teams include App Making, The Arts, Fashion, Finance, Graphic Design, Health and Environment, Marketing, Religious Identity, Social Action and Entrepreneurship, Video Production and Web Design.

The club has organized events such as a student-run Yom Iyun; a pre-Shavuot program called Detox for the Decalogue; a student-run discussion series on prayer; and a day devoted to doing 26 Acts of Kindness for the 26 victims of Newtown. Club members are now involved in 

*  creating a green cookbook that will be made into an app
*  a fashion and dance show that raises awareness about ethical food and fashion, the oppression of women worldwide and female entrepreneurs
*  an education reform movement
*  a video series based on the prayer discussions the Religious Identity team is having.

RealSchool’s student-designed website: 
RS's FaceBook page:

An article about RealSchool appears in the Spring 2012 volume of The Lookstein Center’s Jewish Educational Leadership Journal and can be found here:

Frisch LEADs

This year I decided to imbue the academic curriculum with more of RealSchool’s values. I worked with my fellow AP English Literature teachers and developed Frisch LEADs (Learning. Exploring. Analyzing. Designing.), a project that has students choose their own topic for study and research. Students blog about the discovery and planning process of this year-long undertaking and must complete a 25-page paper or a multi-media project by March. For more information, see

Two particularly good examples of student blogs from the project can be found here:

The Global Classroom

As a proponent of global learning, I’ve also connected entire grades, my classes and particular students to students across the globe. I mentioned the junior integration day, which Frisch conducts with a school in Israel. I’ve also had my sophomore classes interact and converse on wikis with a school in Gush Etzion, Neveh Channah.

In addition, as a result of last year’s Frisch Africa Encounter, six sophomore girls became interested in building relationships with Ethiopian children in Israel. My sister Smadar Goldstein of JETS, an online learning provider based in Israel, presented the Frisch program on Ethiopian Jewry as a webinar. Smadar arranged for my sophomore girls to Skype with Ethiopian students, and one of my students, who is going to Israel in February 2013, is arranging a meeting with her Ethiopian friend.

Additional Resources

I’m a lover of social media, blogging, tweeting and posting on Facebook about my work and RealSchool’s. In addition to RealSchool’s blog, I also have an AP Art History blog and one on which I post about education, interdisciplinary studies and English.

For AP Art History:

For my education blog:

Here are three blog posts I particularly like:

The Greeks, Qohelet and the Importance of Beginning Again

A Jewish Response to Hedonism and Narcissism

Sacred Space: Contemplating Colorado, Diablo III and the Destruction of the Temple

(You can discern my Sacksian and Heschelian worldview in those posts.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Brave New World and What Makes for a Meaningful Life

Hot Topics is an English class I teach in an interdisciplinary manner. The hot topic of the fall semester is medical ethics and how we as American and global citizens should define humanness. 

One of the books we read is Huxley's Brave New World. After students completed a reading journal on Brave New World, which you can access here -- Brave New World reading journal -- we had class discussions about the science fiction novel.

Then I asked students to consider what was most meaningful in life to them, and since Frisch, where I teach, is a modern Orthodox school, we considered what is meaningful to an Orthodox Jew by looking at Rabbi Michael Broyde's Letter to a Friend on Modern Orthodoxy. The letter can be found here: Rabbi Michael Broyde: Letter on Modern Orthodoxy. Download the letter if you cannot see it clearly. 

I wanted to share an outline a student completed that I thought was a particularly fine response to the question of what makes life meaningful.

English 12A
Mrs. Wiener
                                            True Meaning of Life


Paragraph I:  I believe the true meaning of life is free will, change, and emotion. Without them in my life, I would not be able to function properly as a modern orthodox Jew.
1.      Free will: Free will is meaningful because it gives us the ability to be individuals by making decisions on our own, and allowing us to live our life without being told how and what to do.
2.      Change: Change is meaningful because it allows individuals and society to improve. Without the ability to change then the new developments in science and technology today would not exist.
    Technology: Smart phones, email, Bluetooth, and Internet
      Science: New kind of medicine, and different research programs were developed in order to find cures and treatments to illnesses that were never cured or treated properly.
3.      Emotion: Emotion gives us the ability to connect with others, find enjoyment in something.

Paragraph II: After reading Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley, I realized how empty the humans’ lives were without free will, change, and emotion. 
·        Free will: The humans didn’t have the ability to choose the social class they were put into and what jobs they would have in the future. . The D.H.C decided which humans would be Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons.  Each social class was designed to function in specific environments. The D.H.C predestined and conditioned each. (Example: heat conditioning, page 16-17, and hating books, flowers, and loud noises, pages20-22).
·        Change: The humans didn’t have the ability to change because they were predestined and conditioned. Therefore, their society remained the same; the people were unable to change social classes, very similar to communism.
·        Emotion:  The humans were forced to take soma in order to get rid of any emotions they had. They weren’t allowed to love one another and to prevent humans from falling in love, the D.H.C. used feelies to show them that a true relationship is based on meaningless sex and there is no place for love in it.

Paragraph III:
According to Rabbi Broyde’s article Introduction to Modern-Orthodoxy, a modern Orthodox Jew must be able to balance religion and the secular world by being involved in society as well as being committed to God. As a Jew, I have free will, which allows me to change as Jew and a person in the secular world and feel a connection to my homeland, Israel. With free will, I am able to take in important and significant things from the secular world that are consistent with the Torah and apply them into my Jewish life. We are obligated by the Torah to be financially independent. In order to earn a living, we must study secular studies and incorporate them into our Torah lifestyle and eventually use these accomplishments to get closer to God.  Society is changing by accepting new ideas and promoting these changes as normal. As a Jew, I must decide whether or not these new changes in society can coexist with my religious views. If I decide to accept these changes in society and apply them to my life I must make sure these changes do not violate Torah law. In order to be a modern Orthodox Jew, one must feel connected to Israel and be a religious Zionist. We should be involved in activities supporting Israel. We should be writing letters to congressmen to support Israel in all that it does to defend itself. We should be supporting charities in Israel and rallying for Israel and defend it against the media by revealing the truth.  

Conclusion: Without free will, the ability to change, and emotion, our lives are empty, and we cannot function properly as individuals and as a society. Free will, change, and emotion allow us to achieve great things in life.  If we lived our lives without them, we would be living our lives as robots.

For the letter mentioned in the outline, from Rabbi Michael Broyde about Modern Orthdoxy, follow the link (download the document to read it more clearly):

Getting Used to Show Me

Finding a Place for ShowMe

With the introduction of an iPad cart to The Frisch School at the beginning of the school year and the distribution of iPads to the entire freshman class last month, using apps will soon be second nature to any Frisch teacher. I've had an iPad since September of 2011, but since my students did not, I couldn't really exploit it as a teaching tool. This year, obviously, that has changed. After attending technology boot camp this past summer with the school's amazing Director of Educational Technology, Rabbi Tzvi Pittinsky, I decided to make my way slowly through the plethora of apps available to educators. One which I focused on is ShowMe.

I started the year using it in my sophomore grade and had students create ShowMe presentations about their summer reading assignment, the Gothic novel. Students worked in groups and over the course of a few days, but I realized doing so was not a good way to use the app. A ShowMe presentation really needs to be made in one sitting, and I also didn't love the app for group work. I think its features work best for a single user.

ShowMe at The Frisch Africa Encounter

When the sophomores were well into their project-based learning venture of the year, an interdisciplinary unit exploring Africa through a myriad of lenses, I remembered the ShowMe app when the students and I decided to make an audio tour of an analog savannah and jungle the grade was creating on the school's stage. The app seemed perfect for an auditory venture.

First, a couple of students and I wrote a script for the presentation, one which was based on research many students in the grade did on the African veld and rainforest. The script called for animal sounds to be heard at certain junctures, so we purchased elephant, lion and general jungle sounds from iTunes. We also needed sounds of the "Frisch jungle," students joking around and talking to each other. We recorded those sounds on an iPhone, to use in the ShowMe.

Since we also wanted the script to be read in Hebrew, the students approached one of the Hebrew Language teachers and had her write a condensed version of what we wanted to say. We had actually wanted French and Spanish versions of the audio as well, so all the languages the school teaches would be represented in the tours (OK, full disclosure: we confess we didn't plan on anyone reciting anything in Aramaic, the language in which the students learn Talmud.) However, the Africa unit was taking so much effort to put together, we couldn't spare the time to make so many different versions of the script. If we do the multi-disciplinary project again, we'll start writing the presentation earlier in the process.

The ShowMe app became the perfect venue for the presentation of the audio tour. We had three students, one male, one female, and one proficient Hebrew speaker, recite the scripts we prepared. We then set up ten iPads with earphones on the evening of The Frisch Africa Encounter, the night on which parents and teachers can experience what the students produced during the month-long project. Parents and teachers were able to wander through the savannah and rainforest, listening to the following ShowMe presentations:

The Frisch Africa Encounter Audio Tour: Male Voice

The Frisch Africa Encounter: Female Voice

The Frisch Africa Encounter: Hebrew

The history teacher on the left worked with the sophomores on their research projects,
while the Hebrew teacher on the right, among other activities over the course of the month,
 helped the sophomores with the Hebrew ShowMe 

Multi-Disciplinary Uses for ShowMe

Going forward, I plan to use ShowMe in the way I used it for The Frisch Africa Encounter. However, I want each of my students to write a script and then recite it, once I've proofread and edited their work with them. I think the app can be a wonderful tool that not only enables students to do some scriptwriting, but also to think about an audience they want to reach with their words. Developing an appropriate voice is always a challenge for students, but having to recite their work will give them a chance to think about who they are addressing and what kind of tone and language would be most appropriate for their work. I also think, in an English classroom, students should become proficient in articulation and verbal presentation of ideas; ShowMe would certainly develop those skills.

Script writing would also be appropriate in a history class, after an exploration of one or more famous speeches. Students can then be given a chance to write their own Patrick Henry speech or Gettysburg Address. And foreign language as well can make use of the app in the ways I've described. In fact, if your school is focused on interdisciplinary collaboration, students could write a speech in English or history and then work with their foreign language teachers to translate it into the language they're studying.

And who knows? Maybe next year, I'll be writing about an audio tour students wrote in Aramaic!

For more information about the Africa project, see The Frisch Africa Encounter blog post.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Violence, Mobs, and Punishment: Then and Now

Crowds are not People, My Friend

A look at mob mentality:

Link to the article: Crowds are not People, My Friend

Islamists' Harsh Justice in Northern Mali Today

A look at how punishment according to theocratic rule works in the world today:

Islamists' Harsh Justice in Northern Mali

Attackers Charged with Murder in India

A look at violence against women today, mobs galvanizing to protest injustice, and the implementation of the death penalty:

Rape Incites Women to Protest

Attackers in India Rape Case Charged with Murder

Read at least two of the articles. Using the articles and either The Scarlet Letter or The Crucible, analyze how different societies or people have or have not changed in:
1) their being swept away by peer pressure or mob mentality or being galvanized to protest injustice OR
2) the implementation of punishment, either the death penalty or other harsh punishments

Please write a nuanced, complex response that takes into account who is in charge in the different societies, what the group or mob is organizing to do, and/or the way punishment is administered in the society (either in an open, legal forum that respects the rule of law or one which does not). Draw a conclusion from your analysis. That is, what have you learned by considering past and present mob mentality; group violence or demonstration; and/or crime and punishment in society? Post your response on the wiki discussion board.