Every year my seventh grade class reads and studies Robin Hood. Here in rural Ohio, there are many bow hunters, so it connects with many of the students. As supplemental material I also show the BBC series from 2006 which appeals to both the guys (for action) and the girls (for the romance and Jonas Armstrong). There are lots of good Social Studies issues addressed such as crusades, British monarchies, and dark ages injustices. It is one of my students’ favorite units. This year as we read, I am also writing my next Teacher’s Guide for Robin Hood and the Common Core.
Robin Hood brings up many issues of critical thinking. I ask students to make judgments on Robin’s actions. Is stealing ever ok? Can a main character be a protagonist even if he breaks the law? What are the proper channels to take if there is a social injustice?
We then discuss, “Could or should Robin Hood exist today?”
This is deep thinking and reasoning for 12 year olds.
During one of our discussion, a couple students began comparing Robin Hood to Katniss from Hunger Games. How BRILLIANT! I had never even made the connection. She breaks laws. She shots a bow. There is a struggle between poor people and rich/powerful elite.
Independent thinking at its finest! I threw out a discussion question and students came up with new answers.
That’s what this creative thinking, project-based learning, out-side-the-box, new wave of education is looking for. Can we get students to develop new answers? Are students going to be able to meet challenges of a tomorrow that we can’t even imagine?
I like to think Robin Hood (and Katniss) would be proud.