Inside Someone Else’s Skin

There is no easy way to teach young people how to understand the experiences of others, but writing is at least one avenue for such investigation. This past week, my students studied the Underground Railroad in preparation for reading the book, The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton. We talked about the history of our country and how skin color still seems to create walls between people. It’s difficult because the town where I teach is small, very insular, and mostly white middle-class. My students eyes are barely open to the real world.
Our inquiry into ways that slaves found the courage to escape and the people who helped them along the way led to a project in which we created paper quilts using patterns that represented messages for those making their way to freedom. I then had them write a first-person narrative of someone running away and using patterns from quilts as a guide.

Here are their stories, told in a digital story format:

[googlevideo]-7684783453528948651&hl=en[/googlevideo]

Peace (I mean it),
Kevin

PS — here is just the audio version of their stories.

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  1. As a teacher of sewing, and we start with quilt squares, I loved this video. I may share it with my high school students as they choose a pieced quilt design to make at the beginning of next semester. Thank you for all your stories!

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