Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case

While this is primarily a math blog, I want share a reading guide I created based on Chris Crowe’s book, Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case. Several years ago I taught seventh grade literature, language arts, and social studies. Common Core, learning standards, and daily objectives aside, I thought the best thing I could do for my students was to make them aware of the horrific end to Emmett’s life and for them to learn how Till became one of the beacons for the Civil Rights movement.

The reading guide was heavily influenced by Kylene Beers’ work When Kids Can’t Read, What Teachers Can Do. Many of the questions were developed using Beers’ strategies. Getting Away with Murder can be a difficult read; hopefully such techniques as the It Says–I Say–And So, Likert scales, Causal Relationships charts, and T-charts will help students improve reading reading comprehension. It also includes comprehension/discussion questions for Socratic Circles, end of chapter activities and assessment ideas.

If you are not aware, Bob Dylan wrote and performed The Ballad of Emmett Till in 1963. To my knowledge it was never released as a single or on an album, but he performed it live on Pacifica Radio’s WBAI in 1962. You can hear it here.

Some days I wish I taught literature. Even though I don’t, I still would like your feedback on ways this guide could be improved.

Here’s the PDF.

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