My sixth graders have been working on writing letters to the president and yesterday, we podcasted them reading them letters (which will be mailed off to the White House). Their writing was very impressive, I think, with topics on the environment, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the economy, education and, of course, the Obama girls and their dog.
Here is a sample of a few of the letters.
We were too young to take part in the National Writing Project/Google venture Letters to the Next President that took place during the primaries but I think our students feel as if they do have a voice and they seem realistic about the problems facing our countries and yet, they remain very optimistic that President Obama has the power to rally the nation.
Peace (in student voices),
We are in the midst of a unit that looks at the origins and the fluidity of our English Language. Yesterday, we talked about Shakespeare (making the connection between Hamlet and Lion King was an eye-opener for many of them) and about the power of language that the Bard used when having one character tear another one down with words.
So, I passed out some insults taken from the plays and told my students that this was their chance: they could fling and hurl verbal insults from the list at me. Many blushed, others laughed, and then they got into it. The old words rolled off their tongues — not always easily, of course, and they laughed even harder when I noted that they would have some things to say that night when their parents asked what they did in school that day.
In one of the writing classes, I recorded them. I am sure you want to hear, right?
Listen to the insults
And if you are curious about the reference sheet I gave them, here it is … feel free to use it.
Peace (in the power of language),