OK, I'm just gonna do it. I've been wanting to have a class make a thousand paper cranes since I first heard the story when I was a kid. And the time is just right now. I have a good group of 5th graders who are diligent enough to take on the task. I have 5th grade teachers who are in the middle of a unit on World War II, and on top of that, and probably most importantly, Japan has been on my mind and the minds of many of us lately.
I don't know how I'm going to tie this all together, but I already had a 5th grade teacher email me and say she would encorporate the Sadako story into her language arts lesson. So now, I HAVE to do it; she's planning around it too! :)
Two old friends of mine are currently living in Japan. They don't know each other and probably never will. But both of them have been sharing very different points of view about the tsunami and earthquakes. One of them is actually a friend I met through my ex boyfriend, and we just kept in touch. He was born in Japan and worked in the US for a while, then moved back. He is mostly disgusted with the lack of organization and communication consistency going on in the country in the wake of the disaster. My other friend is a Tennessee native who moved to Japan to teach English, and wound up marrying a Japanese man. She lives there now, too. She recently touched my heart by sharing about her experience in shelters, not knowing whether her husband, who works in another city, was even alive.
I'm wondering what kind of impact I can make on my students and perhaps help the victims of this disaster somehow. Fundraisers and charity collections are really restricted in my school district; there's so much red tape, it's ridiculous. But at the very least, maybe I can help my students understand that yes, even though this happened very far from here, those folks are people too.
I know it's nowhere near the magnitude of what happed in Japan, but these kids do remember last year's flood in middle Tennessee where we all live. Their own little down was very heavily damaged from flooding, and we were very fortunate that our school building did not sustain any damage. Still there were students of mine who lost their homes.
I dunno... my brain is still kicking the idea around. But we're gonna start folding. Any of you out there in cyberland: maybe you've got a thought about how to best tie all this together? Please share!