The six-word memoir is a great way to get students to focus on getting a point across in as few words as possible. Students have to choose words precisely since they can't waste any. The six-word memoir teaches all of us writers a critical skill: words are valuable and have meaning -- don't waste them.
Hi Guys, Ms Gillman sent me a lovely email complementing you on the Final Exhibition. I wanted to share her feedback with you, to emphasise what a great job you've done. I hope you are feeling proud of your achievements. You deserve too.
I really enjoyed learning from grade 5 budding activists and was impressed by a lot of what I heard and saw. In particular, many students I spoke to seemed to have an authentic connection with the issue they had researched and when asked questions about global context there were many thoughtful and well informed responses. The range of research conducted was also impressive.
Some of the actions were inspiring too- The PSA for girls access to education (to be aired on Kiss FM) is an excellent example of community action, as is the nutrition group's screening of 'Hungry for Change' and advocacy surrounding that (in fact, I asked them if we could arrange a screening up here at Secondary School for students and whether the group would like to introduce it..). The list could go on...
During a reflective discussion on the bus back with 6D, students highlighted one difference between this year and last year's Final X- they observed that groups did "lots of small actions" as opposed to "one big action". I processed this with them- organizing one big event (6D mentioned fundraisers they had run as their actions) versus the impact of smaller actions (such as the email to the gaming company that created 'dynamite fishing', making toys for disabled children, emailing Rotary Club for support for recreational space lobbying, inviting a budding entrepreneur in as an observer to a craft fair attended by established local NGOs as part of a Friday celebrating Females..etc.).
Here are some of the conclusions we came to upon reflection during our bus ride back:
- raising money is not the only way to create positive change, there are many different ways we can impact community and more importantly, learn from community members outside of IST.
- if we care about issues, we are more likely to take action that is meaningful and sustainable.
I am sure that there are some grade 5 students who cared more about their issue than others before the process began, but the vast majority of students I spoke to during the exhibition really seemed to own their learning and speak from a place of genuine care when asked probing questions. I think this proves one of my favourite Goodall quotes to be true: "Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, we will help. Only if we help, we shall be saved".
All of this (and much more!) is a testament to your hard work in guiding students. In addition, I am sure that taking the time to organize the brilliantly conceived X Factor initiative last month further helped students hone their ideas for action.