I really am thankful everyday that I teach at BTW! It is such a special school that stands for Academic Excellence, Diversity, and FUN! I just hope all the students know how lucky they are that they get to attend this amazing school that fights for them everyday!
In 2010 this video was made to try to get President Obama come talk at Booker T.'s Graduation. That would have been amazing, but we got this GREAT video out of it!
Last year after we studied The Trail of Tears in Oklahoma History, a student asked if we could watch the film, "Avatar?" I was confused by the question? I had seen "Avatar." Who hasn't? So why was a student asking to watch the movie? We did not have time - so I laughed the question off. That student was probably sad. I looked into it, and I guess the way the humans treated the Na'vi (blue people0 in the film is a direct comparison to the way the Native Americans were treated during Indian Removal. So this year we watched it in class. Here is a brief synopsis of the film:
The students wrote a comparison between Avatar and the Trail of Tears. One student said it was a great modern visual of the Trail of Tears. I loved that sentence because it is so true. I graded binders while the students watched it. I would occasionally look up and watch the film. It is shocking how similiar the two are! One student wrote they had seen the film before, and thought Wow that was a good film. This time around she saw the comparison, and wondered if the filmmaker purposely put that into the film? I'm not sure either, but it makes you wonder!
Jake and his love
Jake preparing for battle
Here are some of the Big Comparisons students said over and over:
Both were asked to relocate
Americans wanted something resourceful on their land
Both were called Savages
The General in the movie and President Jackson were the same
In Avatar there is a happy ending - the Na'vi fight back and win!
These are my beautiful Grandparents who just celebrated their 62nd Wedding Anniversary. They came to Tulsa and spent all of Thanksgiving with us. Last night we had a family celebration for them. Sometimes I cannot believe it! 62 years of marriage - I cannot imagine! What a life they have spent together! At one point in the evening the whole family was in the living room, and Grandma and Grandpa told us stories about being married in the early 1950s. I woke up this morning and wanted to make this a post. You can learn so much about history from your family!
They lived through it, and they will give you a different perspective than the history books! Plus your family like your grandparents especially want to tell you their stories. They want to talk with you and share! They will love you to ask a question which I will promise turn into more questions and a long conversation!
Years from now you will treasure your conversations with your grandparents! I am 30 years old, and both sets of my grandparents are alive! I know I am so lucky, and my time with them is precious! When I am an old woman I will treasure last night so much! I'm actually beginning to cry!
Last night my Grandfather told us his war stories from the Korean War in the early 1950s. As he talked I cannot imagine going to war! I told my grandpa he is so brave! Of course he became very embarrassed, and just said he did what he had to do. After telling us a few intense stories, he made us laugh by telling us stories of funny things they would do there to take their mind off the fact they were in War. Grandma then told us what it was like at home taking care of their one month old baby girl. Then we went to their childhood. They both grew up in Oklahoma during the 1930s and Great Depression. So last night I got a very personal description of the Korean War and Great Depression, and learned about my family! It was a perfect night!
So GO TALK to your family, and learn your family's history!
We just started the unit on the Executive Branch in US Government, and we did one of my favorite activities. The class was divided into groups of 4 and they had to make a body that represented the president on a big piece of butcher paper. They did not add detail because in the body they wrote in qualities and characteristics we look for in a president. I thought it was great that two groups drew women. That will be a good day when this country elects a woman to the highest office in the land.
Here are some of the characteristics and qualities the students said:
This is my favorite banner during the Woman's Suffrage Movement! It is powerful, and it is crazy to think that it took such a long time for women to get the right to vote!
With the election today it made me think about the fight different groups through out American History have had to fight to vote! Women started the fight in 1848 at Senecca Falls Convention. And it will take 72 years to get the vote! It took till the 20th Century for women to get the right to vote, and our country was founded in the 20th century! What is wrong with that picture? Here is a description of what these brave women went through so ALL WOMEN could get the right to vote:
The women during Women's Suffrage were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.
And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison
guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a
rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing
(Lucy Burns) They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.
Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917,
when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered
his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because
they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.
For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food-
all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.
(Alice Paul) When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike,
they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured
liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for
weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.
HBO's new movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle
these women waged so that women could pull the curtain at the polling
booth and have their say.
'What would those women think of the way women use, or don't use, their right
to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women,
but those of us who did seek to learn.'
It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.
The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'
So do your part, and VOTE! It has taken blood, sweat, and tears to have the right!