Wednesday, December 14th, 2011...11:14 am
Letters to the President and Mrs. Ledbetter Goes to Washington
We talk and talk about coming to the PEACE table with problems and solutions so after our Occupy Wall Street studies, my fifth graders wrote letters to President Obama about their concerns and offered possible solutions. Here is the content of a few letters and a link to some photos from my recent trip to Washington, D.C. for the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) Conference where I presented a poster presentation on these letters called Classroom Instruction that Creates Caring Citizens and assisted with a session on Diversity, Depth, and Detail in SS instruction:
Nov. 9, 2011
Dear President Obama,
My name is Rebecca. I am 10 years old and in 5th grade at UTES in Austin, TX. My class has been learning about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, immigration, and more!
Recently we’re on the topic of Occupy Wall Street. We’ve learned about it in the news, and it really interests us. We are looking at primary documents. I’ve noticed that there is a lot of blaming. People are blaming the big stores and banks, and the government. Even the people! People think that big banks and stores are getting richer and the poor are getting more poor. They think there are too many taxes and not enough jobs available. Maybe you could have several meetings with the big bosses and PEACEFULLY look them in the eye and in a firm, but nice way tell them your problems. It’s king of hard to ignore it, isn’t it?
At school we use a Peace Table where we go and solve our problems. We use the STAR Steps. They are:
1. Ignore (I don’t recommend it in this case.)
2. Move away.
3. Use kind words.
4. Use firm words.
5. Get an adult’s help. (or a friend)
Those might be more for 5th graders, but I bet you could adjust it and make it work.
Thanks for thinking about it!
Nov. 15, 2011
Dear President Obama,
Hi, Sir. Our names are Marco, Stephanie, and Gabriel. We are students at the University of Texas Elementary School. We have been learning about a lot of events about our history from our wonderful teacher, Mrs. Ledbetter.
One of the events that our wonderful teacher is teaching us is about Occupy Wall Street. We are concerned about the stock market crashing again. These are some of our solutions: We think that by letting the 99% pay less money on taxes, we would be happier.
Thank you for your time, Mr. President.
Sincerely, Marco, Gabriel, and Stephanie
As you can see, my students are not shy about sharing their opinions (and putting drops in my teacher bucket I hope to get all of their letters onto Flickr, my new photostream tool for sharing our adventures with you. As promised, a view photos of me in DC in awe of the historical monuments. http://www.flickr.com/photos/meledbetter/sets/72157628406463223/
Peace out and Happy Holidays! ml