Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Greatest Generation

This week, I'm starting a nonfiction unit with my eighth graders. We're reading a short piece called "Homefront." After reading Diary of Anne Frank - I thought it was a natural transition.

What I really like about this piece is it really shows why this generation is "The Greatest Generation." I'm trying to draw out from their imaginations how these people sacrificed for this war.

On one hand, some of the students really had a dark view of the world - totally disagreeing with the statement of Anne's "Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart."

On the other hand, I want them to see how this generation rallied and sacrificed. We've all heard it - Wear it out, make it do, or do without.

Today, I asked them "What sort of sacrifices do we make? As citizens, what does our government expect us to do to support our wars?"

No one said much.

I asked them if they had ample coffee? Gasoline? What sort of cars do they drive? How about those tires? Sugar in their cereal?

Someone raised their hand;

"We pay taxes?"

1 comment:

TeacherScribe said...

When we studied this ear in the MNHS class I'm part of, I was taken by the letters from the children of this 'greatest generation' to Mrs. Roosevelt.

It's heartbreaking. I recall one young girl asking for any of Mrs. Roosevelt's soiled dresses so the girl can clean them and have something nice to wear to school rather than her one dress, which is in tatters.

And the letters go on and on and on.

Here is a website that mentions them.


But you could check the MNHS website too. It was one of the most powerful lesson I've ever been a part of.

I tried it with my juniors, but, I think, they were a bit old (and jaded) for such letters. I bet with 8th graders - and having read what you have - that it would really help drive home the points your making with them.