Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Anne Frank and Paper Clips

Do you remember a time when you didn't know who Anne Frank was? I forgot that I didn't know who she was at one time. And so, I was confused when I handed out the play version of "The Diary of Anne Frank," and students were asking me who she was.

There are many times when I'm teaching and a student doesn't know a what a word means. Sometimes, I'm truly surprised, but most times, I don't bat an eye and tell them what the word means and move on.

Yesterday, I had my students watch "Paper Clips" a documentary about a small middle school in Tennessee that has a memorial for Holocaust victims. When we first watched the video, the students thought I had gone nuts. What in the world is Mrs. Aakhus making us watch now?

But as we watched, the room became more silent. I had planned on watching fifteen minutes a day throughout the Anne Frank Unit. I pressed stop and asked them to open their Anne Frank plays.

"Mrs. Aakhus?" called a student. "Can we watch this for the rest of the hour? We know it seemed as though we didn't like it, but now we do. This is good."

I pressed play. My sixth hour students finished watching it today.

My seventh hour students can't sit though an entire movie during the length of the film. We'll stick to the original plan. They are enjoying the play. These kids are half way into the third scene of the First Act.

Two eighth grade sections. Two different classes.

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