Hiding in Your DNA
In Amerikin, Jeff must take a DNA test to prove to the Knights that he is "pure" in their eyes.
Rapid scientific advances have made genetic DNA tests available to all Americans. But what do they actually reveal, and how reliable are they?
Classroom Activity: DNA of a Classroom
Objective: Build a stronger sense of community with a particular group of students.
Pull up this world map.
Utilizing student volunteers, ask students to articulate one thing that they know about their ancestry. Note: It's important that students are not forced into this. Some may feel uncomfortable sharing, or some may not know much.
Use the map to highlight countries represented by students' and teachers' ancestry. Use this as an opportunity to introduce the idea of Community-Based Heritage: Each member of the class benefits from the heritage of others in the group.
Find entry points to illuminate how traditions from other parts of the world play out in student's lives today.
Ask students to articulate struggles and triumphs of their ancestors. Investigate how these are present in the students' lives today.
Explore ways to bring this knowledge and shared history regularly into the classroom. For example, students can build visual dossiers of inspirational ancestors.
Chelsea Ryan McCurdy (Alma) & Teresa Zimmerman (Michelle) in Amerikin.
Michelle has just given birth. Most people believe that a mother's natural instincts kick in automatically - resulting in a deep, instant connection. But what if that doesn't happen?
Mother-child bonds are complex and sometimes take time to develop. That development can be further complicated - or halted altogether - by things like postpartum depression.