Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My Family's Pilgrim

Just before Thanksgiving we read the book Molly's Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen. If you haven't read this story before, I insist; you must read it! My seconds were wide-eyed as they were the innocent bystanders of Molly's difficulties fitting in. There's something amazing about a story that let's students step outside of their reality to care about a character that urges them to reflect on their own story! Did I already mention, that I love this book?

Anyway, in the story Molly learns about being a modern day pilgrim from her own Mother. Living in a border town, I knew some students were first, second or third generation immigrants themselves. What better opportunity to make some book to world connections then doing personal interviews and family research? Students took home a simple survey to complete with their parents, and returned excited to share what they had learned. Together we worked on creating presentations in Spanish, some even got to make digital versions of their pilgrim's stories as practice before the big class presentation. To hear students explain the facts about their family member's experiences, and then form inferences and opinions on their stories was mindblowing. I loved hearing the stories of their parents, grandparents and ancesestors. As we plotted their home countries on our google map, the big huge diverse world we live in became a little smaller; and we all were grateful for our family's heritages.


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