History, arts and a good deal of learning
I was taken and sold
I didn’t try to fight it
I let them take me
So begins a moving and thoughtful Haiku by Alston Middle School seventh grader Diamond Davis, titled Slaves. With metaphors alluding to the soul, the three Haikus speak to slavery.
We were butterflies
Inside of our cocoons
They were the W.A.S.Ps
The rivers flowed down
When our hearts rose up
We brought them down too.
Diamond performed her piece Friday as part of Prenn Wood’s class where he had incorporated history, creative writing and performance art for a critical thinking exercise about topics most pay little attention to.
Slavery, Columbus and capitalism are but three of the overall topics students chose from to study, understand and look at from a different point of view.
Columbus he sailed
Coming to the Bahamas
He found those not even lost
He brought disease
Small pox plus more killed natives
They were dangerous
Should we celebrate
The good and bad things
Cause he came across?
Jasmine Graham offered a thoughtful perspective on the celebration of Columbus Day.
Wood teaches World History and, in his words, it is a GATE class. Gate stands for Great Attitude Toward Education because, according to the class, all kids are gifted and talented.
The class had a tough task. The assignment was to use Haiku narrations to tell a story. There had to be three Haiku parts, and it had to have a plot and make sense. They were then to use their arts major to show their learning. Assigned Aug. 26 with a first draft due Sept. 5, they mostly chose topics they thought would be “easy.”
But to a one, they discovered the project was “fun.”
“It’s a good way to learn, it’s an easier way to learn, because we get up and do we remember, we’re doing what we like so we learn, it’s getting involved with our core…,” they clamored, everyone speaking at once.
Everyone in the class has an arts specialty. It might be playing the clarinet, like Jasmine, or singing like Ashton Bowman who wrote new lyrics for Wade in the Water, or rapping, like Pasul Mitchell or dancing like Rachel Abell and Sara Lukridge who created an interpretive dance to Wade in the Water.
Whatever their core, they incorporated their knew understanding of their chosen topic and used their talent to communicate.
And then there was Gray Johnson’s take on capitalism….
Money are trees care for it
But one must know how
The wind blows by forever
It sweeps away the money
Hold it close to you
But be careful
Money can eat up your life
So do not let it.
Wisdom from the young.