Uncovering Courage and Empathy In The Classroom

Meaningful sharing and reflecting…

The following video shows students engaged in a gallery walk.  This gallery walk took place during our memoir unit after students read aloud their I Am From poems.  After hearing everyone’s poems, the gallery walk gives students an opportunity to reflect more deeply on what they heard.  Students wrote comments on index cards for each poem’s author.  This type of activity constitutes meaningful sharing and reflecting.  Students are eager to give each other feedback and read the feedback given to them.  In terms of developing our classroom community, this lesson encourages students to build trust through authentic sharing.

I was impressed with the honesty in Ivalease’s writing.  Her poem is one simple, yet profound statement after another.  She was able to use some ideas from this poem in one of her final memoirs, which I was happy about.  I also really appreciated the way she ends her poem.  She reveals so much desperation and negativity throughout the poem, which makes her final line all the more powerful.

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Peggy’s writing shows great attention to detail.  She worked hard to make her poem very specific.  She also has an awareness of building a connection with the reader.  This relationship builds up to the final line when she tells us that she hopes we never have to see the things she had to.
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