I am Not a Number. A hauntingly sad, true account of a young girls experience in Residential Schools. Today was Orange Shirt Day here in Canada and we recognize the survivors of these "boarding schools" as one survivor inspired it by talking about the day she was forcibly taken from her home as a child and her orange shirt was taken away and replaced with the school uniform. Estimates of over 150 000 First Nations Children were forced to attend these schools where many terrible accounts of abuse were reported. Today we discussed why it is important to recognize them and discuss this part of Canadian History and then I read the story. Students were not required to use QoT but I challenged them to try. Others went back to their BHH framework as they are comfortable with it. But I found it interesting to see what areas my students thought of or reflected on in either QoT or BHH. Both brought interesting observations and reflections. For many students this was the first time they had heard a first hand account, they were shocked by some of the details that were covered. Some of the reflections were too personal to share. As I read one I had tears in my eyes as a student reflected on her sameness because of abuse suffered. She looked at me and said Mr.G it is alright I didn't mean to make you cry, I assured her I had not yet actually cried but I so very much appreciated her entry and honesty in her post. Some days I question if this is the path to take as I open a journal that is virtually empty or a student tells me they hate reflecting on their reading. Then there are the other moments where students display levels of empathy far beyond my expectations, or the moments they make a flipgrid and a bug lands on them creating America's funniest home video of awesome Book Commercials. My professional reading has pushed me to think outside the box and maybe even create my own; I am hopeful that exploring different methods of reflection and different genres of literature will help my students to do the same. Here are some examples of different reflections in my grade 7 and 8 classes.
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