Before we can ask students to change the world, we must facilitate opportunities for empathy.
How can students be change makers without informed, empathy-driven understanding?
Poetry grounded in real lives of others
EAL student Alicia sets the tone for the new poetry media series stemming from the question, "Can Poetry Change the World?" Here, she performs her narrative poem "Heaven", bringing awareness to a climate refugee family from Chad.
Visual Archaeology Poems
Using compelling historical and contemporary photos, students utilized poetry techniques, Image Grammar brushstrokes, and expert connections to spoken word artists to develop poems around their image choices. Here, sixth grader Andy illuminates the darkness of war and the juxtaposition of finding a piano in a battlefield.
Out of the Blocks
In collaboration with WYPR's Out of the Blocks podcast, fourteen grade 6-9 students from the International School of Beijing visited with a group of senior citizens from the block of high rises just north of the school. The visit resulted in rich conversations on happiness, wellness, family, change, and wisdom. The Out of the Blocks Beijing media project was created on ISB's "One Day" -- a full school day dedicated to a variety of student-led, project-based learning opportunities. This project explored themes embedded in the WYPR's Out of the Blocks, most notably the idea that everybody has a story, especially the stories hidden in plain sight.
Resident Poetry Experts
In this deep learning experience and thoughtful conversation, award winning, spoken word poet, Luka Lesson sits with Futures Public Radio reporters, Evan, Sherry, and Elfie, to share a new poem and talk about a range of topics from creativity, to writing, to how poetry and art can identify issues and change the world.
Global Voices Narratives
After examining narrative writing through reading "Global Perspectives" novels such as A Long Walk to Water, students branched out to find compelling Newsela articles centered on human rights and researched the related regional global issues. Meshing their understanding of narrative writing, geography, and global issues, students produced a range of storytelling through story pitches, written narratives, screenplays, and audio stories. Here, Alice shares her pitch as a pre-writing exercise.
Audio Recordings of Global Voices Narratives
In 2016, sixth grader Nathan took his global voices story to Everest as he researched and wrote about the life of an Everest Sherpa. His perspective sheds light upon the hard decisions faced by mountain guides in the Himalayas.