The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd: Learning through Collaboration and Creation—Wiki Project

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is a coming of age story set in South Carolina during the 1960’s. Lily grows up in times of change. As Lily faces an abusive father, searches for answers about a lost mother, and reaches out for forgiveness and love, America faces its own troubled past and seeks to rectify social injustice, establish civil rights, and promote racial tolerance. With the guidance of three Black bee-keeping sisters, Lily discovers divine love and finds solace and a promising future.

The Task:
We will create a class Wiki to help us, and other, better understand the novel. The Wiki will be created in 3 parts: #1-Context, #2-Analysis/Interpretation, & #3-Reflection

For Step#1-Context you will use the links provided to research the historical, scientific, religious, and cultural elements of the novel to understand how the background of the Civil Rights Era, the science of bee-keeping, the worship of the Black Madonna, and the culture of the 1960’s provide the setting and help to illuminate the themes of injustice, motherhood, love, and redemption in the novel.

The Process:
Work in groups to research and understand each element of the novel. Illustrates and explains key facts, concepts, and the group's understanding on the Wiki.
1. Use the links listed as well as other credible sources to answer the assigned questions. Be sure to record the proper bibliographic information for citation purposes.
2. Include photographs and images related to your topic. Include the source of every photo.
3. Share, discuss, and clarify information. Finally, organize all information and images and finish/proof read the final product.
4. Post to Wiki.

Group Questions and Resources
Read through the links, use MLA bibliographic citation so that sources are cited properly (a link to MLA citation is included). You should divide the questions assigned to maximize time:

Ø Topic I: History
This group will supply answers with illustrations to the following questions:
1. Who were the Freedom Riders and what did they do?
2. What was the Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit-In and what was its aftermath?
3. What was the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott involving Rosa Parks and what was its aftermath?
4. What did the Brown versus Board of Education of Topeka case decide?
5. What happened when James Meredith tried to enroll in the University of Mississippi?
6. Why was Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech so powerful and what did it inspire?
7. Who was Malcolm X and what is he known for?
8. What were the major provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?
9. What problems were encountered in the enforcement of the Civil Rights Act? (In other words, what resistance occurred, what violence happened, how did certain groups evade the law?)
10. What were the major provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965?
· Major Features of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
· The Library of Congress, Today in History: March 7
· The King Center
· Greensboro Sit-Ins
· MLK and the Civil Rights Movement
· PBS – The Greensboro Four
· The Official Web Site of Malcolm X
· African American Odyssey Part 1
· African American Odyssey Part 2

Ø Topic II: The Science of Bees
This group will supply answers with illustrations to the following questions:
1. Explain the job of each of the following bees: queen bee, nest builder bee, field bee, mortician bee, nurse bee, drone, attendant, and scout.
2. What is a swarm and how can swarms be prevented or contained?
3. How do bees make honey? What accounts for the different colors and flavors of honey?
4. How do bee-keepers harvest honey? What do they do to protect themselves from being stung?
5. What are the differences between commercial honey available in supermarkets and honey obtained from bee-keepers? What are comb honey, cut comb, and creamed honey?
6. Why and when do bees sting? What happens when a person who is allergic to bees is stung? What is the remedy? What future precautions must this person take?
7. Why is excessive heat dangerous for bees? What happens to a bee colony when it loses its queen?
8. What are the health benefits of honey? Is there anyone who should avoid honey?
9. What food products contain honey? Provide some interesting little-known facts.
10. What non-food products contain honey? Provide some interesting, little-known facts.
Carlisle Honey
Golden Blossom Honey
Alien Empire: Welcome to the Hive
Bees and Wasps
The American Apitherapy Society

Ø Topic III: Religion
This group will supply answers with illustrations to the following questions:
1. Define the term Black Madonna. What are the origins of the Black Madonna?
2. Where can Black Madonnas be found? Are there any such representations in America?
3. In what media (statues, paintings, etc.) are these Black Madonnas created? Provide examples.
4. Does the Black Madonna of Breznichar exist? Explain.
5. Provide some images of famous Black Madonnas. What elements do they have in common?
6. Provide some additional images of Mary as she is perceived by different countries or groups of people. Look at various artistic renditions of Mary such as you might find on a Christmas card.
7. What are the key differences between Baptists and Catholics?
8. What was a “salvation glove”? What were the reasons for the apparent hostility between the Baptists and the Catholics in the South?
9. What holy day is August 15? What do we celebrate on that day? What month of the year is devoted to Mary? How is that month celebrated?
10. What devotional rituals are associated with Mary? Consider such devotions as prayers, hymns, processions, vigils, and pilgrimages.
· The Catholic Pilgrimage to the Black Madonna
· The Black Madonna Shrine and Grottos
· Black Madonnas
· Black Madonnas: Our Lady of Czestochowa
· The Black Madonna of Czestochowa
· The Mary Page
· The Assumption of Mary
· Blessed Virgin Mary
· Southern Baptists
· Catholic Online Forum
· Homepage – Sue Monk Kidd

Ø Topic IV: Culture
This group will supply answers with illustrations to the following questions:
1. What was a bomb drill? What were hula hoops?
2. Provide descriptions of the following elements in the South Carolina setting: kudzu vines, Queen Anne’s lace, Carolina jasmine, lemon balm, elephant ear plants, katydids, and sweet-grass baskets. You may use “Google” searching for these terms.
3. Identify Walter Cronkite and characterize his style and his impact on television news and television viewers.
4. What was Ranger 7: Rocket to the Moon, and why did the success of the space race mean so much to the Americans in the 1960’s? (Consider political climate.)
5. What was Beatlemania?
6. Who was Jack Palance and what is he known for?
7. What happened in the Gulf of Tonkin?
8. Describe the television show “American Bandstand.”
9. Who were Fats Domino, Miles Davis, Nat King Cole, and Sam Cooke and what are they known for?
10. Find recipes for two of the following: peach cobbler, banana cream pie, caramel cake, corn fritters, honey cakes or honey buns, banana pudding, Jell-O molds, macaroni and cheese (not out of a box), or any recipe that uses honey as a main ingredient. Info that presents recipes should contain a list of ingredients and directions for making the dish. Do not use bullet format for these; use a “cookbook” format.
· “When Bomb Shelters were all the Rage” – The Detroit News
· Atomic Culture
· Hula Hoops
· PictureHistory – Hula Hoops
· Ranger 7
· The Ranger 7 Mission
· Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – The Beatles
· Artists A-Z – VH1
· The Gulf of Tonkin Incident
· Cronkite: Gulf of Tonkin's Phantom Attack
· American Bandstand @ The Museum of Broadcast Communications
· All Recipes

v MLA Citation Information:
The OWL and

Adapted from Karen Moynihan, Chair, English Departmentand Kristina Keleher, Director of Library Media Services

For Step#2-Analysis/Interpretation you will use the provided discussion questions and original topics that arise in your group discussion to analyze and interpret the novel. You will discuss each chapter as a group and each member of the group will be responsible for answering one of that chapter's questions and posting the response to the Wiki. You must support all writing with textual evidence (quotes). Respond to two other students' or groups' posting per week. This will help in developing your own and others understanding of the material.

For Step#3-Reflection you will reflect on your process, learning, and group work: consider that is working well, what is not, what are you learning (think content, analysis, technological skills, interpersonal skills, etc), and where you may need more support or assistance. Reflect throughout step#2 and at the end of the Wiki on the experience as a whole.