This article offers curriculum as well as rationale for teaching Debra Magpie Earling’s Montana-based novel, Perma Red. I begin with my own experience teaching the novel as it stumbled into my lap as and meandered its way into my rural classroom, where Earling’s language challenges students to deconstruct and further understand issues in agency pertaining to sexual assault and consent. Then, I explain methods and strategies I use to teach language and close-reading to my twelfth grade students while they read this novel, my aim being to make teaching this unit as accessible as possible for all Montana teachers. I also describe several formative and one summative assessment that I have students complete in this unit, all of which align to the Montana Common Core State Standards and IEFA. I conclude by reflecting on how my students have generally felt regarding this unit and the tension that inevitably arises when we allow students to contemplate mature topics. Discourse in the classroom can lead to occasional uneasiness; considering that our students will one day be challenged to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues, perhaps discoursal discomfort is what classrooms need most.
"Reputation and Rurality: Using a Montana-Authored Text to Talk About Agency and Language in the Secondary English Classroom,"
The Montana English Journal: Vol. 41
, Article 6.
Available at: https://scholarworks.umt.edu/mej/vol41/iss1/6