February 18, 2009

Blog Entry 1: Paper Clips

After watching the movie and discussing it with my group, I think that there were many problems with the Paper Clips project that was taking place in Whitwell, TN. It was a wonderful idea and got the students excited and it taught them something that they needed to know. However, the planning that went into the project, I thought, was very unorganized and not something we should necessarily follow for when we are teaching.

Much of the things they were doing seemed like spur of the moment decisions that they just kind of went with. I did notice they were using power points and having speakers talk to them about the Holocaust, which was very good, but the organization of everything and taking into account the big picture - things just seemed very unorganized to me.

Overall, the memorial turned out beautiful and it w
as a great thing that these kids can look back on and say they had a lot to do with it. I loved how, at the end, the students served as the teachers to groups of students from different schools that came to see the memorial. I think that this is a very effective teaching tool for both sets of students and can allow a different perspective to change up the daily routine a little bit.

This project also did a good job of teaching them about intolerance and judgement. It allowed a lot of them to look at their own community and see the changes that needed to occur closer to home. They don't get many chances, because of their small town, to interact with people that are different than themselves so to be given a chance to speak with and study people of different backgrounds was great. I also noticed at the end when they were putting the paper clips into the train car, they not only put 6 million for the Jews, but 5 million for other groups that were killed, including homosexuals. I remember we brought up a point two weeks ago while watching the movie that if they are studying the mistreatment of Jews, why not study the mistreatment of other groups of people as well and I was glad they addressed that issue. Overall, it was a great story and idea that turned out wonderfully, but, when looking at the details, things weren't necessarily carried out very well or planned ahead of time

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