This week, we kicked off our new unit, “Where We Are in Place and Time.” On Monday, students were forced out of their classroom in a provocation designed to get the students thinking about what it’s like to have to leave your home. Students kept their backpacks with them as they walked to ICJC for the morning, then off campus in an attempt to find a place where they could study. Although back in for Music and lunch, students didn’t return to their classroom all day.
Our unit is about migration and the reasons why people migrate and have migrated throughout history and the impact of that migration. Students reflected after their forced migration from their classroom that they could understand how it feels like to migrate.
We also finished a read aloud this week, A Long Walk to Water, about the Sudanese refugees who walked for years between 3 countries, trying to find a home. We then watched a movie called, A Good LIe, about Sudanese refugees coming to America. Students made some great connections between their forced march and the Sudanese refugees. Of course, they also realized how their migration was temporary and overall pretty good.
We also looked at some recent news about boatloads of people from Myanmar and Bangladesh who have been turned away from several Southeast Asian countries, and they continue to float without a home, decent food or water. Students began to look at the impact of these migrants on the migrants themselves, on their own country and the possible effect it would have on the countries they are trying to reach. Good conversations starting already about migration. And after the initial provocation of being “kicked out” of their classroom, students are beginning to have some empathy for those without a home, who struggle to find a place in the world. Good conversations have been happening all week.