Corinth's eighth grade team recently completed an interdisciplinary unit of study of refugees around the globe after concluding the anchor text, Inside Out and Back Again by Thannha Lai. Under the direction of our Grade 8 ELA teacher, Mr. Drew McEvoy, the team began investigating ways to make real world connections with the students. Mr. McEvoy's father, Union College Dean Thomas McEvoy, coordinated an experience for our students with two current Union College students and an alumna who came to our school to share their experiences.
The eighth graders kicked off the day by sharing what they learned on the topic of refugees, including study of the novel “Inside Out and Back Again.” They shared their research about refugees around the globe and made connections to other events in US history.
The highlight of the day was listening to three guest speakers from Union College. Mr. Adam Forti shared his experiences teaching English to refugees while studying abroad in Greece. Mr. Jamal Aram shared his experiences living in Afghanistan and what it was like to leave his home. Ms. Sarah Kadar shared her experiences as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in Jordan, caring for Syrian refugees and doing research on health and safety.
In addition to the guest speakers' presentations, which helped our students connect theory and book knowledge to real world contemporary issues, Mr. McEvoy and Grade 8 Social Studies Teacher Mr. Starace led the students through an extensive refugee simulation activity that chronicled some of the events of a typical refugee experience.
The day was an exceptional learning experience for our Corinth Middle School students. It enhanced and deepened their learning, and both adults and students continue to discuss and reflect on the experience and topic.
Many thanks to Union College Dean of Students Mr. Thomas McEvoy and Corinth Grade 8 ELA Teacher Mr. Drew McEvoy for lining up the guest speakers. It was an incredible day of learning for our students!
Photo credits: P. Siano, CCSD Web Club members, and Grade 8 teachers