- Luxurious looking and spacious hallways; colossal columns with magnificent carvings and giant French windows glistening in brilliant sunshine of perfect proportions. Pavered courtyards bordered by beautifully kept flower beds and inviting green fields which serve the purpose of play and recreational grounds. This is what greets you at Pearsons Gates Academy. This is the new ultra-modern school which has been built to board students who have been failing the National Standards Tests. The Disappeared have been separated from their families, friends, hopes, dreams, and futures.
- Children, ages five to eighteen were walking diligently along the hallways. They were heading to their respective classrooms. These classrooms were equipped with the most modern of furnishings and futuristic electronic devices and equipment. This is where the apex of twenty first century teaching and learning takes place daily. The resplendent classrooms which are airy and illuminated by large gushes of natural light from the numerous and huge windows, are perfect for learning.
- NEWS BREAK: Education police said they received another tip from school officials that all the children in a single home failed their Reading and Math test. PGA officials obtained an emergency custody order to remove the students and enroll them in the Parsons Gates Academy. When authorities arrived at the Plutarch's home, they said a 4-year-old girl answered the door. Police said the mother was asleep on the couch and when awakened by officers, she became augmentative and uncooperative. Police said they removed all six children from the Phoenix home Monday after their mother and father failed to show up for a mandatory Parental Accountability meeting.
- The students here are progressing relatively well in Numeracy and Literacy! Things could not have been better as they have superlative teachers who have been PGA trained. The teachers are courteous, knowledgeable and know just how to execute their craft. They get the students actively involved in learning through acting, singing and dancing. The technological advancement in the world of education is at its summit here at Pearsons Gates Academy. Every spacious classroom had its own 3D holographic learning lab.
- It sounds very impressive and it is; well, at least that’s what all the overly anxious parents thought until they realized that this was all a pipe dream. A dream that would never be realized. Instead of being taken to these splendid Academies, which, of course, doesn’t exist, the failing children were hauled off to engage in slave labor in dehumanizing and grossly-overcrowded gargantuan factories. Most of the students were from poor minority families causing a number of families to believe their was a plot to exploit the disappeared children.
- “Are we ever going to go back home?” asked Danna, the youngest of all the children. Jesus who was the eldest and acknowledged as being most clever, quickly responded, “we will outwit and more important outnumber the guards tonight at 10, we'll escape and find our way back to our families and homes.” The thousands of former students have been surviving the cruel adversities, working 18 hour days, with very little healthy food and sweat shop conditions that would desolate any without hope. The children demonstrated great virtue all while hope was stripped away when they failed their test.
- Parents worried endlessly about the their lost children as they queried PGA officials about their children.
- The well-mannered quiet children all sat stone-faced at the huge, food bare tables in the mess-hall and waited for the guards to waltz in and march them to the den-of-culinary-atrocities to deposit their meal trays. This was a ritual that occurred daily at 10 pm.
- The ‘lookouts’ who sat at the four corners of the room waited for the moment when all 80 guards collected their meals and sat to eat unaware of the children plot. The ‘lookouts’ stood up and the fierce animalistic instinct of thousands of children kicked in. They pounced on the guards who were far outnumbered, relieving them of their rubber batons, hitting them mercilessly in the process of subduing them, really beating them silly for good measure.
- Before long, all the battered guards were on the slimy porridge covered floor in a dazed state. Little did they know that the children would be able to overpower them an in such a completely unified and solid way. The rotten PGA minions lay on the floor writhing in excruciating pain occasioned by blows from their own batons.
- All the children, led by Jesus and Danna dashed through the wide double doors, ran along the corridors and into the fields. Twenty-four hours later they all arrived at a farm near the freight depot. They waited for a freight train headed north to the US border and placed the smallest children on the train with a compassionate chaperone. The rest headed north enduring the arduous journey on foot to the US border. Being the led by the smart-charismatic Jesus, he made it relatively easy for them to navigate their way back to their small town across the border. Their anxious and worried parents were overjoyed to see them and they were all in school the next day.
- In a supernatural-ingenuous flair, the students led by Jesus and Danna outwitted the guards and escaped the subjugation. The children were diligent-strategic and meticulous in planning their every move and did not hesitate to execute their best-laid plan with great deliberation. The students used what little technology they had to document what really happened to them. The Disappeared shared the great atrocities and injustice of separating families in the name of School Reform and Accountability. The world learned first hand what the PGA was really doing.
- But what really led to the inception of this modern Greek tragedy, that all participants could or should have done without? Close examination revealed that thinking, fun, creativity, innovation and curiosity was taken out of learning because of the commercialization of education and the overbearing testing of the children mandated by politicians. There was no longer any joy, curiosity or excitement involved in teaching and learning. The enormous stresses associated with doing National Standards Tests were imperious and almost terror-like.
- However, following this ghastly episode of the diapered children, the teachers and administrators have now revolutionized teaching and learning. Teachers are now in control of all educational decisions, they are paid like doctors, students are enjoying over an hour of recess everyday, there are more fun and games involved in lessons and there’s no mandatory testing.
- To everyone’s surprise and delight, the passing rates have now been catapulted upwards from 20 percent in the poorest schools to 90 percent.
- As for the PGA officials and factory guards who wielded power over the children as innocent victims; they were all imprisoned and subjected to mandatory rehabilitation courses. Never again would this ill-fated occurrence be allowed to take hold of education and innocent children.
- There trods our obligatory ending, which we'll see in our future, All the children learn happily ever after. The End?
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Readers Theater Reading Lesson | English Grade 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Readers Theater gets students excited about reading and motivated to write. Use the Reader's Theater Script to inspire students to read great literature like, “The Hunger Games, Divergence, The Giver, and 1984”! Students have little classroom access to narrative literature in the middle and high-schools due to the CCSS ELA expository text mandates. Readers theater provides a great opportunity to get kids thinking about deep meaningful issues, Use the free Readers Theater scripts and use your students names _______ to make the readings more personal. The Disappeared is a futuristic dystopian tale of resilience and children fighting back. Similar Themes: The Hunger Games, Divergence, The Giver, and 1984.
The Disappeared Children
When Jesus woke up this morning, he knew this would be a day full of uncertainty, fear and risk. He also knew that without these things, he would never fulfil his destiny as a brave leader amongst his peers. As he sat in the lunchroom after his arduous day of labor in the fields, aching and sleepy, he dreaded the imminent moment approaching.
Are we ever going back to school?
Jody was the youngest of the group, with energy to spare even after a 14 hour day of backbreaking work. Having been separated from the rest of her family when she was abducted from her Phoenix school for failing her 3rd grade standardized reading test, she naturally fell in with people from her own school.
When Jody first arrived at the Pearsons Gates Academy she knew no one. Her siblings had been separated from her for several months and she knew not what had become of them. Jesus and Danna took her under their wing and looked out for her. This was her surrogate family.
The only way we'll ever get back to school and our parents is if we take our fate into our own hands.
I want to see my brothers and sisters again too. I miss them.
We'll get to see everyone, we just have to be brave.
How do we do brave, Jesus?
When things get scary and we don't know what will happen next, we stay calm and stick to the plan. We trust our faith in ourselves, no matter what everyone else tells us what we're supposed to do or who we're supposed to be.
How do we do that?
Jody was always full of questions, and she asked them all when they entered her skull. She was Autistic and had a real knack for learning and exploring the strange or bizarre. It was her greatest asset and her Achilles heel. She was overtly intelligent because of all the nontraditional knowledge she sought to obtain, but also ostracized by many because she was so outspoken on improving everyone else, and herself, she was perfect.
Jody had passion, creativity and love for her special interests. She dreamt of becoming the greatest mind in her field of robotics. This was opposed by many as they felt she should only be learning the common core as everyone else. It resulted in her being bullied by her peers and even teachers in her school. She believed trying to please the teachers, administrators, or politicians who were passing ill thought laws was a poor use of her time.
At 10pm tonight, our lookouts in all four corners of the cafeteria will make their final surveillance of the guards and if it's all clear, we will overpower them and march out the front doors
of the Pearsons Gates Academy as free as we were the day we were born!
Danna wasn't Jesus' girlfriend by any means, but what many called a kindred spirit. She was a natural born leader, gifted with vigor and passion on completing goals and moving the world forward. She learned not by asking questions like Jody, but by doing.
Her hands on experience made indelible imprints on her thought processes. Something her teachers knew when they taught her in classes, helping her to grasp mathematical concepts and applications. The very same creative teaching techniques that were lost when laws mandated that all students would learn one way. These new teaching methods were determined only by lawmakers and the educational businesses that created the standardized tests.
I can't wait to learn new things again. We haven't learned anything new since the second day we were here. My mom once told me about this place, they said on the news that the Pearsons Gates Academy was a high technology learning retreat. The only thing I learned was how to dig and teach new kids how to dig. The same thing gets boring every time.
I agree with you Jody. Some of the things we learned in school was hard but something new everyday made life an adventure. When they first started the standardized testing I learned pretty much the same things in every grade.
While the two girls bantered back and forth about ideas and hope, Jesus sat stirring his grey mashed potatoes as his heavy eyes struggled to stay laser focused on the clock. Every moment the second hand ticked closer to 10pm made it more and more difficult for him to stay awake and brave. He was tired now, but the moment the revolution began, his energy would need to be on point.
Another thing to fear was if he failed, the guards would no doubt raise security protocols to prevent another incident. It was Jesus' gift to know that preparation was always a key to success. Studying and focus was key to accomplishing goals. Jesus was always able to do very good on tests from his teachers because they were well in tune with the content they were teaching, making after school study sessions and homework geared towards educating the students to understanding problem solving, instead of temporarily memorizing patterns.
Jesus, is it time?
What do I do?
If I give you the go ahead you're going to help get everyone out of the cafe. I'll need you to hold open the doors so everyone will run and then you lead them to the front of the school.
What if someone tries to stop us?
You just keep running, ok? You leave the fighting to the bigger kids.
I'll be right there with you, Jody, ok?
Jesus took a breath as the second hand was coming up on 10pm. The moment was finally at hand.
Jesus rose from his seat and looked to corner one. His first lookout nodded yes. Corner two. Yes. As the moment grew, Jody uncrossed her legs under the table and Danna dabbed the remaining food from the corners of her mouths before setting her food to rest. Jesus moved to corner three and got a hesitant nod. Jesus looked deeper into the hesitancy to understand it, realizing one of the guards was watching and just now caught on. RIOT! He screamed as several other guards looked up from their meals, mouths full of mashed potatoes.
Let's go, Jody, come on!
Jesus and the rest of the big kids quickly mobbed the unexpecting guards. Jody and Danna lead droves of other children through the doors, down the grimy looking and cramped corridors with colossal humiliating columns; drab plain walls and small holes for windows that would keep electric costs down. Finally to the front gates they arrived, where the stormy weather outside washed away the dirt and ash from their bodies.
Has anyone seen Jesus?
Now what do we do?
We have to find the train line. I'm sure it's off in that direction there. Let's go!
As Jesus led the mass of freed students through the fields and into the nearby woods, all of them would take a moment of their time to glance back and keep sure of the burning structure that once housed them was crumbling to it's demise.
How far do you suppose the train line is?
Not far. A days walk or so. We must keep moving. I know they will come for us. If we don't succeed now, we may never.
Just then a voice spoke up from the mass behind Jesus. It was Gordy, a longtime troublemaker at school and then again at the factory.
Why should you be the leader? I already don't think this is the right idea. We should just go back and do what they say. It's safer that way.
I'm not going to stop you, because if there's one thing I've learned from all of this is that there isn't just one way to do things, one goal to be met. Each person has to get to their destination by their own means. Mine is to see my family again and return to school and learn new and exciting things. If I have to face the storm; wild animals, toxic plants and harsh terrain to get there, I'm going to. If you want to keep working the fields because it's what's safe, then go on.
Jesus and the group waited, the mass all looking at Gordy to see what he'd do. After a moment of contemplation, Gordy lowered his eyes to the ground in shame and submitted his loss of the argument.
Alright then. Let's go everyone!
I love that we're outside in the rain. They never let us go outside in the rain! It's actually kind of fun!
Jody was correct, it was a fun endeavour to be doing something different. Good fortune smiled upon the students as they ventured for over a day's time, making their arrival at the train depot early the next morning. It was a long, hard earned respite for them as they snuck on to empty car trains to gain passage back over the boarder and return home. Many of them slept the whole ride, others were too excited at the prospects that awaited them.
Nothing compared to the thoughts of their own beds; dogs and cats that would comfort them in wet sloppy kisses and the smell of a home made dinner cooked with love. As they finally arrived back in Phoenix, the exhaustion took a back seat in their minds. Energy surged from every child's legs as they raced around corners and bends in their neighborhood roads to get the chance to wake their parents
Mom!? Dad!? We're home!
Jody!? Oh my goodness, sweetheart we thought we'd never see you again!
Jody's parents near fell flat faced to the ground, tangled up in the morning blankets as they rushed to embrace their little girl.
Gordy's dad was dressed in a business suit; carrying a briefcase and adjusting a small United States Flagpin when he noticed his son coming up the suburban street.
Dad I'm home!
Gordy's father said nothing, as he pointed towards the house and continued into his limo with the police escort waiting to take him back to the state senate.
Oh, Max! I missed you beyond compare!
Danna hugged her red Doberman dog as she fell onto the couch in her living room. Her parents almost trampled one another to reach her first as they both sandwiched her into the middle of a hug that could only be explained as a vice grip.
Hello? Is anyone home?
Jesus was slow and unsure of his house as it sat quietly. A creak arose from the back of the kitchen. His father emerged from the basement, overwhelmed with joy.
Dad! Where's mom?
She's not here Buddy. Your mother found out about all the terrible things that they were doing to you and the others at the factory. She set out two weeks ago to try and find it and gather evidence to shut it down.
We burned it down. But I stole one of the guard's phones when he wasn't looking and took all of these pictures.
As Jesus and his father thumbed through the pictures on the phone, the front door opened and Jesus' mother came exclaiming through the room until she was reunited with her son. She was overjoyed that her son was finally home.
In the days that followed, Jesus and his parents brought the evidence to the U.S. District Attorney. She brought charges against all of the politicians and corrupt business owners that tried to limit and control the education of students to their own advantage.
The laws of standardized testing where repealed and students started growing as teachers were allowed to embrace different teaching methods for different students. Test scores rose and students grew into successful adults who were passionate about their work and capable of problem solving with their own minds, pushing knowledge of the human race even further than it already had reached.