In this interview, Luis Rodriguez describes how the systemic demoralization he faced in school and society at a young age drove him to join a street gang and how writing his book, Always Running, was an attempt to call his son and other young people in similar situations to change their lives.
In reading against the grain students analyze the dominant reading of a text and engage in alternative or "resistant" readings. Resistant readings scrutinize the beliefs and attitudes that typically go unexamined in a text, drawing attention to the gaps, silences and contradictions.
This strategy exposes students to multiple short pieces of a text before they read it in its entirety. Students read selected quotes out of context and comment on both the selection and the comments of other students. The activity ends with students reflecting on their reactions to and predictions about the text.
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