Sharing the Courage of King
Fourth- and fifth-graders shared personal stories of courage on the Doherty Campus in late January, as part of Seven Hills’ annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation. Two-by-two, the students stood before a packed room of family and friends to recite their poetry, which described actual times when the students summoned the courage to try something new, such as speaking in front of a crowd, jumping into a pool, performing a program on ice. The students then brainstormed examples of everyday courage and began writing poems for two voices on courage. “This year, we wanted the experience to be more interactive, with the students working with one another, as opposed to it being an independent project,” Unit III teacher Claire Laughlin. “We spent some time talking about ways in which Martin Luther King showed courage, and how we as individuals all show courage every day, in different ways. Through a variety of activities, students picked one example in their life in which they have shown courage. We paired students up, they each wrote a three-stanza poem about their example of courage, and then they got together with their partner to find the similarities between their two examples. They then wrote one line, that they read together, connecting the two examples.” Laughlin said the goal was for the convocation to be more personal and intimate, which is why the students presented from the floor, as opposed to the stage. Laughlin and Unit III teachers Julie Guminey, Dana Pease, and Bill Schmidt kicked off the study in December, by reading the book I Have a Dream, by illustrator and author Kadir Nelson.