This week, freshman World Studies students dove into the concept of leadership. By choosing a person they thought might be the greatest leader the world has seen, students began analyzing what makes a good leader and what differentiates a good leader from a good person. Students discussed civil rights heroes like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X; religious trailblazers like Jesus and Buddha; and, even Clemente staff like security guard and mentor Darlene “Mama D” Sierra-Clark and ROTC instructor Sergeant First Class Lewis.
After discussing and debating the characteristics that make a great leader, students explored two of the most influential leaders in history: Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi and Mao Zedong. Students annotated and analyzed high-level texts about each leader in order to identify leadership qualities and determine the positive and negative decisions made by each. Clemente freshmen completed a critical discussion as they compared and contrasted the two men’s lives, leadership styles, and impact on the world.
To showcase their learning next week, students will take a step away from the traditional essay and create a comic book or short story. After demonstrating skills like creating and following a work plan, the assignment will ask them to create a leader using characteristics from Mao, Gandhi, and other real-life or fictional leaders. Students will then demonstrate their artistic and creative skills to create a text to show how their leader would solve a problem. Students will have to think critically about how their leader would exhibit leadership traits in a situation of their choosing, including stopping a feud between rival gangs, motivating a losing sports team ready to give up, or another scenario of their own design. The freshman teachers and students are excited to see the creative and inspirational leaders they create.