Teaching the Hate You Give: A Case Study - It's Illuminated Teaching (2023)

When I was originally looking for a teaching positionThe hate you givefrom Angie Thomas to my high school English class,I knew I was taking a risk. I risked the time I had spent preparing the materials, the money my building had invested in acquiring books for students, and I cast aside a decades-old, tried and tested district curriculum.

I did not know anyone who had taught this novel and had no one to turn to for advice.Lucky for you brave teacher, I'm ready to share what I've learned!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I personally use and love or that my readers find useful.

Teaching the Hate You Give: A Case Study - It's Illuminated Teaching (1)Teaching the Hate You Give: A Case Study - It's Illuminated Teaching (2)

fear of teachingThe hate you give

During the first week of the unit, in every lesson I was concerned:What are my students thinking? Will they like it as much as I do? Do you think I'm pushing some kind of political agenda - and if so, is that a bad thing?

I also held my breath, waiting for some kind of negative feedback from my peers. While I was getting approved to teachThe hate you give,It's not exactly on the official syllabus, and I worried that it would only take one person, offended by the language in the book, to spoil the fun of teaching me.

Teaching the Hate You Give: A Case Study - It's Illuminated Teaching (3)

What worked in teachingThe hate you give

In the first place almost every one of my studentsloved the novel from the first page.It was easy for them to engage with the text.

As an English teacher, one of my greatest hopes is for my students to become lifelong readers. I believe that they introduce yourich, comprehensible textsis the best way to show young adults that reading is a fun activity.

A student told me that this was the best book he had read since middle school.He even urged me to keep it on the undergraduate curriculum for next year (after just a day of reading).

Interactions between staff and students

The impact this unit had on my whole school was totally unexpected.Word has got around that something new, something controversial is being taught and that it's working.I was asked to provide the school with an overview of the unit (we regularly do unit spotlights to highlight each other's outstanding work and to introduce new ideas).

It all snowballed and I ended up loaning extra copies to other staff.The adults in the building also love the novel, and when the students see that they are carrying their own copies, students and adults engage in conversationThe hate you give.

(Video) Mark Zuckerberg reacts to Elon Musk possibly buying Twitter #shorts

Students looking forward to talking to adults about books? I couldn't be happier!

When the film came out, we went there as a whole staff to see the film - instead of having a staff meeting! I got important employee points that day.

Overall, students generally seem more willing to read in class or take materials home to catch up on missing work.It's magical to look up and see the whole class turning their pages at the same time (they're all following along!), and I saw fewer text messages and naps than I usually do when I'm reading in class.

Instead of writing one long essay for the unit, I gave students more frequent but shorter writing assignments.I also assigned a final discussion.

This actually led to the students writingmore, receive more regular feedback on their writing and have more time to absorb feedback and improve.

The final meeting was also a complete success. The teachers loved it and the students couldn't believe the time flew by in this lesson!

Teaching the Hate You Give: A Case Study - It's Illuminated Teaching (7)

difficulties in teachingThe hate you give

My only complaint withThe hate you giveis that it is a long text.

At 444 pages, it's probably the longest book that many of my students have ever read. We have block lessons (which means 90 minutes of lessons for us), but also very low pupils, which means that reading has to be done together in class.

We spent most of our class time listening to the audio book during this unit. That meant far less time for grammar, supplementary texts and skill exercises than I would actually like.

(Video) Create a Short to 'Pink Venom' & show us your moves with #PinkVenomChallenge only on YouTube Shorts

(Side note: the audio book version isReallyGood! The narrator is great and the audio book itself is a great framework for more auditory learners!)

Teaching the Hate You Give: A Case Study - It's Illuminated Teaching (8)Teaching the Hate You Give: A Case Study - It's Illuminated Teaching (9)

I also teach this unit at the end of the final year when attendance is at its worst. As the students delve into the book, they are still the same students, and some have fallen behind as we delved deeper into the book.

Reading alone is daunting for many of my students. But having to catch up on such a long book after missing school for two weeks? whoops

I am also concerned that the academic portion of this unit may be too much for some students. There's usually a lot of modeling and scaffolding involved in each task, but the length of the book just doesn't leave that much time.

No time to relearn

When I teachThe hate you give, I let students read the whole thing carefully and comment. I model and review this skill the first few times we read it, but there's no time to teach it again in the middle.

There's also no time to model writers' expectations for the writing prompts I give them. By the time they do their last, the students have usually figured it out. But I wish I had more time to review C-E-R writing skills before the first one.

I love the story and don't want to sacrifice any part of this book, but I wish I had more time to break down the tasks for the students and help them more individually.

Dealing with the controversy inThe hate you give

One of the reasons I made my decisionThe hate you givewas because I felt it was a balanced story. There are good and bad white characters, good and bad black characters, good and bad cops.

Despite this, many consider the subject of police brutality to be “controversial” or at least too lewd for the classroom.

I teach high school seniors who are close to graduation and election.I believe the literature they read should be relevant.It should make them think about the problems in our country that they will inherit.

(Video) US Shuts Down Chinese Police Station in NYC | China In Focus

When I first taught this book, one student felt so strong that he left the class. How permanent.

He liked me and the class, but felt he would never succeed with this book. It would not reflect his views. He didn't want to discuss something so controversial with his colleagues.

His mother called and said she had done her research on the book and was supportive of her son. They opted to switch him to an online course instead.

Teaching the Hate You Give: A Case Study - It's Illuminated Teaching (11)

FREEBIE for social justice

Sign up for the It's Lit Teaching newsletter and receive your FREE graphic organizer for analyzing a key scene in any social justice novel, story or article!

(Video) From Grammy’s to Gemara | The Story of Ari Blau

Teaching the Hate You Give: A Case Study - It's Illuminated Teaching (12)

Lean on colleagues

Fortunately, my school and administration are super supportive. I mean, instead of telling me to change what I'm doing, they changed his schedule.

I have also seen other students withdraw completely. These are not typically the most engaged students, but this topic causes some to turn off.

I had a student who just overslept the reading. Daily. He never gave anything away.

After some prodding from his advisor and I, he admitted that his father was a police officer. His withdrawal was really an act of self-defense. He was so fed up with seeing the police portrayed negatively that he didn't want to get involved in the novel.

We spoke. We talked about the characters in the novel and how Uncle Carlos is actually an amazing character in the book and meant to paint a positive picture of law enforcement.

I always make sure to play devil's advocate in class. It's a fine line to be against police brutality without being against the police. But now I pause to talk to students about how difficult it is for law enforcement to find themselves in dangerous situations.

I even createda new introductory activityTo introduce students to the dangers of the police before they read a text likeThe hate you give.

If your school isn't as supportive as mine,There are alternatives that you can try or teach.

Teaching the Hate You Give: A Case Study - It's Illuminated Teaching (14)

So should you teach the hate you give?

I can't answer that question for you. You know your students, your school, and the parents you deal with.

(Video) The Hate U Give - Khalil's death scene HD

For me a clear YES.My students need this book.You need this unit. And both my students and the colleagues who help me with this unit love it.

But you have to weigh the pros and cons for yourself. However, if you're inclined to yes, I have some wonderful resources to teachThe hate you giveEasier!


What is the theme of the hate you give? ›

The book looks at the following themes: Code-Switching, Dueling Identities, and Double-Consciousness. Identity and Blackness. Black Lives Matter.

Did Starr get justice for Khalil? ›

Climax Starr testifies before the grand jury, finally bringing to light the full truth of what happened the night Khalil died. After this testimony, Starr has done all she can do to seek justice for Khalil. Falling action The grand jury decides not to prosecute One-Fifteen.

What is the overall message of the hate you give? ›

The Hate U Give examines the way society uses stereotypes of black people to justify violence and racism against them. These stereotypes protect white communities, such as the students at Starr's school, Williamson Prep, from reflecting upon systemic racism, which perpetuates discrimination.

How does Starr struggle with her identity? ›

She gives two identities to herself, Garden Heights Starr and Williamson Starr. She is trapped between these two cultures. Furthermore, the novel describes her journey from when she witnesses the unarmed shooting by police that takes her friend's life, Khalil, until the end where she tries to gain justice for Khalil.

What is Starr's main message? ›

Starr's reflection on the injustice of the grand jury's decision highlights the power of systemic racism. Her only way to fight for Khalil was to testify before the grand jury at great personal risk, and yet not even her best fight and having the truth on her side were strong enough to get Khalil justice.

What does Khalil's hairbrush symbolize? ›

Khalil's Hairbrush

The hairbrush represents both the blinding power and senselessness of racism. One-Fifteen alleges that he shot Khalil because he mistook his hairbrush for a gun.

How did Khalil's death change Starr? ›

Khalil's death disrupts any semblance of equilibrium Starr has created between her Garden Heights and Williamson Prep identities, and forces Starr to realize that no matter what she does, she will always be judged within white spaces.

Why doesn't Starr accept Hailey's apology? ›

Hailey's apology expresses a desire to erase what happened instead of taking responsibility for her hurtful words and actions. Starr realizes that their friendship has no way forward because she does not want to shrink back into the old pattern.

Does Starr kiss Khalil in the book? ›

In the film Starr and Khalil kiss on the night of his death, in the book there's sexual tension but they don't kiss.

What does thug life symbolize in The Hate U Give? ›

“The Hate U Give” takes its title and central philosophy from a concept espoused by Tupac Shakur: To the rapper, who had “THUG LIFE” tattooed in capital letters on his torso, that phrase was an acronym for a vicious cycle of societal violence.

What lessons can be learned from The Hate U Give? ›

10 life lessons from The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Racism is still relevant in today's society.
  • Discrimination is an issue that needs to be talked about more. ...
  • Do not do something when you are not in the right mindset.
  • Always speak up in a serious situation.
  • It is important to hear all sides of a story.

Why are Starr's father and uncle always at odds? ›

Starr thinks the real reason her father and uncle fight is because of Maverick's insecurity and guilt about not being there for part of his children's lives: Carlos took care of Starr, Seven, and Lisa while Maverick was in prison for three years, and is a surrogate father to Starr.

What is the biggest issue Starr is having with Chris? ›

Starr has a negative reaction to Chris taking her hand because she realizes that Chris's whiteness makes him part of the same system as One-Fifteen, which is a society that privileges white lives over black ones.

Why is Starr scared to speak up? ›

Starr worries about facing backlash if news leaks that she witnessed Khalil's death. Her parents agree to let her keep it secret and decide not to tell Sekani, Starr's younger brother. Starr swore she would speak out against police brutality, but now she cannot bring herself to speak up.

Why does Starr say she's a thug? ›

Starr blames herself for doubting Khalil and thinks public opinion would change if they knew why Khalil sold drugs. DeVante calls himself a thug because he sold drugs and was actually a gang member. He explains that the King Lords made sure his family didn't starve, and DeVante liked being taken care of.

Why does Starr's lawyer tell her to fire her? ›

Ms. Ofrah then tells Starr to fire her, so that what she does next are the actions of an activist rather than Starr's attorney.

Why does Starr blame herself for the riots? ›

Starr blames herself for their inaction and the ensuing violence. Reporters emphasize Khalil's drug dealing and gang connections, claiming there had been a gun in the car. Starr doesn't think there was a gun, but because Khalil never told her about joining a gang or dealing, she isn't sure anymore.

Why is Khalil's death important? ›

Although he dies in chapter two, Khalil plays an important symbolic role in The Hate U Give. Specifically, Khalil's murder dramatizes the process of dehumanization and demonization of young black men in the wider news media that allows them to become scapegoats for the violence in their communities.

What does Mavericks Rose Garden symbolize? ›

Maverick's work in his rose garden represents his values as a parent and his devotion to Starr, Seven, and Sekani. Maverick mentions that gardens need conversation to grow, and we see conversation as an important part of his parenting style, such as when he talks to Starr about the meaning of Thug Life.

What does Starr's hoodie represent? ›

Starr's Hoodie

The hoodie Starr is wearing at Big D's party the night Khalil is shot represents the real life Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. BLM is a resistance movement formed in response to the 2012 shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin.

Why did Starr's dad go to jail? ›

Maverick decided to quit after Starr's birth because he realized being a King Lord was not worth dying for. When the police arrested King and Maverick for weapons possession, Maverick took the charge for King.

Does Starr feel guilty about khalils death? ›

She is also confused; though King Lords “crown their fallen comrades” with a gray bandana, the inside of his car was green — the color of the Garden Disciples. Starr feels even more guilt for abandoning Khalil when he was alive, positing that she could have talked him out of joining a gang.

What happens when Chris grabs Starr's hand? ›

Starr feels like she can be herself with Chris, rather than “Williamson Starr.” When Chris grabs her hand, however, she flashes back to Khalil's shooting, unable to separate Chris's whiteness from One-Fifteen's. She recoils. Starr and Chris bond over their shared love of certain elements of black culture.

Why did Starr punches Hailey? ›

Starr encourages Hailey to apologize to Maya because she cares about her. Hailey refuses, saying that Maya should get over it and Starr should get over Khalil. Hailey proclaims that Khalil was going to die anyhow, and One-Fifteen did everyone a favor by killing a drug dealer. Starr punches Hailey.

Why was Starr's dad upset with her for dating Chris? ›

Maverick admits he was afraid Starr was dating a white boy because his relationship with Lisa scared her. Starr protests that Maverick has shown her what a good man should be.

What did the news add to Khalil's death? ›

Khalil's name finally appears on the news, along with the title “Suspected Drug Dealer.” The news does not mention that he was unarmed, and says the police spoke to an “unnamed witness.” As Starr feared, Khalil's drug dealing overshadows everything else about him and is already being used to make him seem guilty.

Who was Starr's first crush? ›

She explains that Khalil had been her best friend, her first crush, and her first kiss.

Does sekani point a gun at king in the book? ›

In all of the commotion, Starr's little brother, Sekani takes his father's gun and points it at King. The police then point their guns at Sekani and everyone tries to calm down the situation. Starr moves in front of her brother with her hands up in an effort to protect him. This scene never plays out in the book.

How old is Starr in the book? ›

Starr Carter is a 16-year-old black girl, who lives in the fictional mostly poor black neighborhood of Garden Heights, but attends an affluent predominantly white private school, Williamson Prep.

What do shoes represent in the hate you give? ›

Studying shoes in The Hate U Give encourages a reading that puts race relations at the fore- front of the novel. Shoes come to represent the tightrope that Starr walks to maintain her two identities.

What does black Jesus symbolize? ›

Black Jesus signifies a radical faith without content; a faith which encourages believers to attentively listen for the personalized divine call echoing within their own unique experiences.

Why is The Hate U Give so important? ›

“The Hate U Give is important within today's society because the novel addresses racism, activism, and how the police treat people of color,” Taylor said.

What is Starr's favorite show that she relates to explain why? ›

Starr often thinks about the nineties sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air because it presents a fantasy of getting to be her whole self at all times, no matter where she finds herself.

Is friendship a theme in The Hate U Give? ›

There are many themes here but the one I want to focus on is central to The Hate U Give; it is friendship. On page 265, Starr talks to her mother about a friendship that has gone awry.

Is family a theme in the hate you give? ›

In Garden Heights, the one thing more important than gang association is family. Starr is extremely close with her parents and siblings, and family ties inform the actions of many characters throughout the novel. Both Khalil and DeVante, for example, become associated with gangs in order to help their families.

What does the hate you give stand for? ›

The title “The Hate U Give” comes from the late rapper Tupac Shakur's “THUG LIFE” acronym, which stands for “The Hate U Give Little Infants F---s Everyone.”


1. Sam Smith's Satanic Worship Service | Ep 749
(Allie Beth Stuckey)
2. Cope and Seethe | The Steve Dangle Podcast
3. LIVE: Eyewitness News at 7 p.m.
(ABC 7 Chicago)
4. Matthew 5; Luke 6 | Feb 13-19 | Come Follow Me Insights
(Scripture Central)
5. Justice: What's The Right Thing To Do? Episode 01 "THE MORAL SIDE OF MURDER"
(Harvard University)
6. Kelis - Bossy ft. Too $hort
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Virgilio Hermann JD

Last Updated: 04/21/2023

Views: 6008

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Virgilio Hermann JD

Birthday: 1997-12-21

Address: 6946 Schoen Cove, Sipesshire, MO 55944

Phone: +3763365785260

Job: Accounting Engineer

Hobby: Web surfing, Rafting, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Ghost hunting, Swimming, Amateur radio

Introduction: My name is Virgilio Hermann JD, I am a fine, gifted, beautiful, encouraging, kind, talented, zealous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.