PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Grade 8 Humanities: Week of 1/22/2018 Does Life Imitate Art Or Art Imitate Life?(And Other Questions And Answers From Jungleland)


Dear Families,

This week students began conceptualizing projects for The Jungle. These will be multi-genre pieces to be completed independently or with a partner. The project will allow students to focus on a number of creative outlets such as the use of illustrations/art, creative writing, research and/or technology. Students will also gain further experience in coming up with original thesis statements or questions that their projects will explore in meaningful ways. Two important elements of this project to remember are:

  • A thesis is a proposition maintained by argument/examples/evidence
  • Genres must have a thesis question or statement as a foundation

Some possible thesis topics for exploration might be:

  1. How is the title of The Jungle both symbolic and representative of life in Packingtown?
  2. Is The Jungle an effective piece of persuasive writing, convincing readers of the validity of socialism?
  3. How does Sinclair depict the failure of attempts to improve wage laborers’ lives by working from within capitalism? Think especially about legal, social, and philanthropic efforts.
  4. What do the vast stockyards, packed with animals, symbolize?
  5. How do Sinclair’s political intentions affect the characters, style, and structure of the novel?
  6. In what ways does Sinclair depict capitalism as destructive? Consider the characters’ personal lives and social interactions.

Some possible genres might include (but aren’t limited to!):

  1. Fine art painting, sculpture, diorama, etc. depicting a scene or concept from the novel
  2. Computer/board game that explores a theme or idea important in the novel
  3. Standard essay — expository, claim/counter claim, etc.
  4. Research paper/Power Point, TED talk on immigration, political corruption or other topic generated by the novel


Ms. Sacilotto


Here, a playable game is drafted on paper . . .


Then coded to complete a finished computer game for a modern audience to experience life in The Jungle . . .


A future fine art painting depicting class struggles in The Jungle is planned in pencil . . .