This is the first of several posts that will talk about an epic Holocaust writing project that we are embarking on. Too much for just one post, so enjoy.
A project has fallen into my lap. It’s real-world. It’s life-teaching. It’s academically driven. It utilizes technology. It’s the kind of project that teachers dream of.
I’m friends with another teacher on Facebook who teaches at a middle school three hours away in Muscatine, Iowa. She was a roommate of my wife’s in college, and she went through the same English Ed program I did. However, I haven’t talked to her since our days at Iowa State. That is until she posted on Facebook about a project that she and her 8th graders are embarking on: raise 6 million pennies to represent the 6 million lives lost in the Holocaust. That’s when the light bulb went off.
I messaged her and asked if we could help raise money and donate it to them to help their cause. She welcomed the idea with excitement.
Presenting the Idea
I took the idea to my 8th graders. I explained that the other class read the Diary of Anne Frank (as did we this year), and they are looking to raise $60,000 dollars or 6 million pennies. The money would be donated to a local charity in Muscatine. The kids’ eyes lit up and instantly became as excited as I did.
We knew this was for a good cause. It’s a project that exemplifies what Anne Frank believed – “That despite all evil, everyone has some good in them.” What better way to spread that message than two 8th grades coming together for a good cause? Will there be others?
But questions soon arose…How do we organize such an effort? How do we spread the message in our own community? How can I tie this in academically? How do I grade this?!
In the following posts to come, I will share the answers to these questions.
To be continued…
P.S. Check out our YouTube channel for video updates on on our progress and technology being used.