Appreciation of African American History month at SOMS

Appreciation of African American History month at SOMS
Posted on 02/19/2016
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It was important to Ms. Whyte, 6th grade Language Arts teacher, that students participated in the learning and appreciation of African American History month. Working with colleagues on the 6th grade team, she had 6th grade students research five facts about an African American who shared their life passion. All 6th graders in the building soon became involved with the mini assignment. The future activists researched individuals who stood out against injustice such as Claudette Colvin,  future engineers/inventors/doctors found individuals such as Dr. Margie D. Lee, Marie Van Brittan Brown, Mary Seacole,  dancers/entertainers/athletes discovered Lena Horne, Diane Durham, Bo Jackson, Corey Anderson, and Kyle Harrison. 
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What started out as a simple assignment of culture, respect, awareness, and connections turned into a buzz for students sharing information, names, and appreciation. Students were asked to share their new found knowledge over the loud speaker during morning announcements, where they would leave off by asking "Who Am I? Can you guess?" Each home room worked together to figure out the clues given and the correct names in order. 

The "Who am I?" questions about each African American and the winning advisory class were posted on our website each morning.

studentSavanna Oaks was lit with a fire of excitement! Seventh and eighth graders were rushing downstairs to give their answers for the clues our 6th graders created. Our 6th graders learned that just as Claudette Colvin, they too could could make a positive change for the future.

We went from 8 bold student readers, to 33 students eagerly waiting for their turn to read over the loud speakers in the morning, and classes from each grade participating.

black historyStudents are expressing how they are collaborating together, listening to music (discovering jazz, blues, and that not all female songs were by the artist Beyoncé), a new appreciation of what these individuals contributed (a student told her mother how much she hated poetry and after researching Maya Angelou wanted a book with all her poems and now talks about how Maya's writing style "speaks" to her). 

This is a great positive example of what is happening at SOMS and thank you to Ms. Jillian Whyte for leading the students in observing an important part of our history!

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