Modest proposals at LCHS

by Layla Hickman

SANFORD – Fred Murchison wants his students to think. One way he accomplishes that is by teaching Jonathan Swift’s classic satirical essay A Modest Proposal.

“They’re supposed to learn how to think independently to literally and figuratively, think outside of the box,” Murchison said.

Students from Fred Murchison’s English IV class present their “Modest Proposals” to an audience Thursday afternoon.

Murchison, who teaches English IV, Creative Writing and African-American Literature, looks at this assignment as a calling card of his classes. The class is broken into groups and has to develop a problem facing society today and satirical solution.

“Every team has to come up with a problem and the solution so they’ve covered it from corner to corner,” Murchison explained. “You have to come up with pros and cons to why the problem is good or bad, why the solution is good or bad, who’s going to cover the arguing to get to the point. It’s a full A to Z exercise.” 

The presentations were held Thursday at Lee County High School. The students were required to present their problem and solution with a slideshow. The presentations were accompanied by a public service announcement, also produced in class with many groups working outside of class to present the best possible project.

“I think it went wonderfully well. The groups were put together well,” Murchison said. “A lot of their energy went into the entire production, the videos, the presentation and it’s not always easy just to stand up in front of your peers.”

Murchison allowed students to work on the project for about two weeks before the presentations. Overall, Murchison said he was proud of all of his students that presented.

“I think they liked a presentation like this and I think that our guys did very well overall,” Murchison continued. “Very, very well. I’m very proud of them.”

Murchison plans to hold a large scale presentation in the spring semester, including other teachers English IV classes.

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