Archive for February 13th, 2018

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

What is a change maker and who are the change makers in our own community? I asked my students. I made a list on the board of people I know from our area who are making a difference.  Each student chose one to interview based on his/her own interest.

I called Vicky Branton, a feature writer for The Daily Iberian, our local newspaper.  She agreed to come visit with my students about interviewing for and writing a feature article.  She had good advice:

  1. Begin with the 5 W’s: Who, what, when, where, why?
  2. During the interview, listen.
  3. Record the interview in order to be completely present and to go back for direct quotes.
  4. Elaborate: Find the interesting thing.

For the first three days of last week, I scheduled interviews.  In all, we had 5 interviews.  Students then began writing.  We had to juggle the computer around for them to listen to their recorded interviews.  Eventually, they had a draft of a feature article.

This was a motivating project for my students.  They were elevated by their interviewer status.  They learned a great deal about the good things happening in our city.  They learned how to take a quote and turn it into narrative.  They learned about themselves in the process, too, and have renewed aspirations for what they may want to do to be a change maker.

Faith is interested in an anti-bullying program that is in the early stages in our community:

Mrs. Dawn and Mrs. Sharon say they really feel like Chez Hope is impacting the community. Russo expressing,”…What we do is not easy, it’s not easy work at all, it’s hard.” Over time they are helping the community. These crises are a big problem in our community. And many people are afraid that they aren’t going away any time soon. To add on to that, I would like to say that I feel like Chez Hope has impacted our school. When Mrs. Sharon and Mrs. Dawn came to our school, they left an impact on me and others as well. Once I walked out of that room, I knew I had to do something to help stop bullying. I also took away that I should never bully anyone. Also, if some one bullies me, then I need to tell an adult. I don’t need to be put down and be bullied. So stand up for yourself and tell an adult. (Faith, 6th grade)

Bully Free Kids T-shirt from Chez Hope


Jennie Lallande, Acadiana Lifestyles “Women Making a Difference 2016”

Andrew wanted to know more about how Jennie Lallande became involved in the community garden and school garden programs.

Jennie Lallande is a massive change maker. She helps in the community garden, but the garden is made in a place where people don’t have much access to fresh food like lettuce or carrots. She was recruited because she has a experience in sustainable agriculture.

Erin is doing a fundraiser to make care packages for foster children, so she wanted to know more about the system from someone who had adopted a foster child.

When I interviewed her I got a lot of information about her and the foster system, which will help me with my research because I want to learn more about the foster system. A lot of new information was revealed to me.  I thought the social workers were supposed to help the parents. But according to Mrs. Schlicher they don’t really help.  She said they provided her with false information so that she would take children in.

From interests to interviews to writing, my students are discovering who is making a difference as well as planting seeds for their own future as change makers. 


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