My students are immersed in media daily, as our school specializes in technology. They are fast to learn new apps and systems, and they are always up to the challenge.
What I love most about my students is their resilience.
They bring a passion for learning that cannot be hindered by age, ethnicity, gender, social status, or any other barriers that this world tries to place on them.
They are a very diverse group of kids, and they use that to build a sense of community. Our school climate is heavily influenced by the strong friendships these students share.
This year, I have chosen to teach a whole-class novel in my writing class. Although students have a separate reading class, research shows that reading texts written by great authors can help writers learn craft in a more meaningful way. Last year, my students were obsessed with another Alan Gratz book- "Refugee." I decided to dig into their interests to help my reluctant writers.
The Holocaust is a topic that my students are intrigued by, but I do not think they have grasped the depth of the atrocities that occurred during this point in history.
I have read (and re-read) this book cover to cover and am impressed by the way Alan Gratz tells the story from the narrator's perspective. The main type of writing we focus on in sixth grade is personal narrative. I have chosen this book specifically because of the perspective and storytelling.
I plan to use these books to help my students understand the importance of telling their story. In "The Diary of Anne Frank," the thirteen-year-old writes that she does not believe anyone "will be interested in the musings" of a teenager. I want my students to see the importance of telling their story through the lens of history.
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