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posted Nov 21, 2016, 1:15 PM by
We are continuing to explore the world of Somali refugees, their culture and impact on the schools these refugees attend. Recently the issue the characters in our book has been the posting of pictures on FaceBook with hurtful posts. The impact that social media has on families whose culture does not align with ours in the U.S. The devastation that slurs and cyberbullying has on people's lives.  Although this is happening to characters in our book, there are lessons to be learned by all of us. 

A fabulous week for poetry!
We read two poems , This Place by Eloise Greenfield, and Women by Alice Walker. Women provided an amazing opportunity to discuss what an activist is. Students identified "causes" which are identified with historical activists - Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, jr., Rosa Parks, Lady Gaga,  to name a few.  Part of reading poetry is researching the poet. The students were surprised to learn that Alice Walker was the author of  The Color Purple.   This information helped them to "read" the poem in a different way and understand that is was largely a social commentary on women of color in a particular time in the history of the U.S. and not simply about  "mamma."
It was also fabulous week because I received 5 original, powerful poems from students.  We have a great deal of talent in our 8th grade class and each student provides a different point of view, observation and hope for the future.  It is very exciting. Now we are looking for either a competition or a publishing opportunity for these students or both.

We took a poll to see where everyone was in their goal for writing. It was approximately half way through the month so theoretically they should be approximately half way toward their goal. Some found they were closer than others! One student spend the entire evening writing to get closer toward her goal. Whether or not the goals are actually achieved, it is more important that each student write as much as they can during this month.