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Project Discoveries

Written by Pamela Bodnar
November 01, 2010

Through this project we discovered that students, even young students, care deeply about issues of social injustice and are eager to examine examples from their immediate communities and to compare how they are similar or different to what students in other locations are observing or experiencing. Students are also quite capable of delving into complex social issues that span communities and generations. We learned that the introduction of the term genocide, for instance, need not be restricted to a particular age or grade level. If the materials and the manner in which the topic is introduced are age-appropriate, elementary students can join middle school students in a meaningful, shared conversation. In the Change Writers project, the 4th graders became experts on the internment experience; the 8th graders, on the Holocaust. It was through the technology, beginning with blogging and culminating with an interactive face-to-face videoconference that students demonstrated their ability and willingness to share co-expertise not only on these two historical events but also on bullying, an issue all had witnessed and/or experienced. As Change Writers, they had started what could become a life-long conversation.

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