Some days, when the stars align, something or someone crosses my path at the right time. Today we were set to review the story arc and I had multiple activities planned utilizing differentiated texts to meet the needs of my students, who in one class, range from 3rd grade to post high school level readers.
But yesterday when I got home, inspiration took root when I found the latest issue of National Geographic in our mailbox. The cover story, “The Story of a Face,” is breathtakingly beautiful, poignant, provocative, and even epic. I was moved by the gorgeous language and, more than anything, by this human story.
Since it took me over 30 minutes to read through the article, I did not consider sharing the entire text with students (yet - I’m going to buy multiple copies of this issue for kids to check out and read.) Instead, using the multimedia components at https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/09/face-transplant-katie-stubblefield-photography-interactive/, I retold this story.
We teachers are storytellers, after all.
I started with the preface to the article: This story is difficult to look at. Yet we are asking you to go on the remarkable journey of how a young woman received a face transplant because it reveals something profound about our humanity.
Today, I had the privilege of retelling this story to 40+ 8th graders who showed curiosity, compassion, and insight. I believe wholeheartedly that 8th graders are open, empathetic social-justice warriors. Today, I was in the kind of company that makes me think that we’re all going to be alright.
And, for the record, I met our lesson objectives. I did most of the other activities and added this text do our lesson on narratives. Students plotted this narrative on a story arc and it proved to be a stellar resource to talk about how conflict is a catalyst for change and how resolution might mean knowing what is happening ‘now’ without knowing what the final outcome will be.
Today was a good, good day. @natgeoeducation