In June of 2015, fifth grade students at Island Park Elementary incorporated activities from “Teaching Tolerance” lessons created by the Southern Poverty Law Center. While they were learning about overlooked African American contributions during the Revolutionary War, they wrote poems where they shared little known or misunderstood aspect of themselves. In the activity, they were asked to think deeply about what makes them unique and misconceptions others might harbor based on that uniqueness (e.g. ethnicity, race, gender, skill sets, etc.). They read their very personal poems to each other and discussed the feelings embodied in the pieces. Discussion was rich in that it revealed similar/diverse feelings, apprehensions, joys, pride and wonderings felt by peers.
to read some of the poems written by Island Park fifth grade students.