Margot Stern Strom Teaching Award-Project
I have received a $1,200 (USD) Margot Stern Strom 2012 Teaching Award for a poetry perspective project that I created for poetry month. Ms. Stern Strom is the executive director and president of the Board of Facing History and Ourselves National Foundation, a nonprofit professional development organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in civic education that encourages the skills and promotes the values needed to sustain a democratic society. Through a rigorous examination of history the program helps students make the essential connections between events of the past and the moral choices they make in their own lives.
April is Poetry Month around the world. This project will use poetry to bring awareness of the theme of “identity” and provide an opportunity using poetry to confront the “ourselves” aspect of “Facing History and Ourselves” and our own we/they perspectives in schools.
Students from Bayside Middle School, along with students from Kaiserslautern Middle School, in Kaiserslautern, Germany, the Park School in Brookline, MA, and the Brimmer and May School in Chestnut Hill, MA, will access a Wiki space to share their responses to Rudyard Kipling’s “We/They” poem and James Berry’s poem, “What Do We Do with a Variation?”
This project demands students to “participate” with other students and schools in candid communication about local and global awareness using technology, and create “products” that can ultimately be shared with other schools beyond this project.
The schools that participate already share a common thread. Each school uses Facing History and Ourselves resources as part of their curriculum. The focus of this project uses FHO’s scope and sequence on “We and They”. The use of technology will allow the students from all three campuses to share their responses to this topic and gain a global perspective of “We/They.”
The project was developed using the Understanding by Design method and includes the following elements: Enduring Understandings, Essential Questions, Knowledge and Skills.
The goal of this project is to help students from across the globe understand that people have strong ties to their own ethnic group/community/religion, that there will always be obvious differences among people based on language, race, sex and socio-economic levels and that geographical locations are a factor in the “We/They” attitudes and relationships. Students will respond to Berry’s question “What do we do with a variation?” They will explain why does the notion of “We/They” continue to exist in today’s society? Using technology in this project will help them to connect with other students and to create global awareness
Thomas Galvez, high school tech integrator, assisted with this project by helping to create the Wiki space. The Wiki space is where the participating schools’ students will post their responses and share comments with other students.
Each participating school has received a digital camera and digital flip camera to record the students’ work.
To read more stories about Shekou International School visit their website: www.sis.org.cn/why-choose-sis