Even though this article about vandalism at the Emmet Till Memorial is dated three days ago online, it just showed up in our paper copy of the New York Times yesterday, opposite a story about storms hitting Texas. It was the most impactful story we discussed, by far.
Yesterday’s class news meeting touched on places the United States currently has troops deployed, and what wars we’re fighting (and a bit about other wars we’ve fought). In biology, we’ve been talking about single-celled organisms, so the photo accompanying this Science article about cheese mold was beautiful.
But the students really only got engaged when we started talking about what happened 65 years ago to 14-year-old Emmet Till, and what’s happening today at his memorial. An hour or so after the news meeting ended, one student handed me an essay she’d written about the young boy, not because I’d assigned any writing but just because there was more she wanted to say. And one of my struggling readers was sitting at a back table, newspaper at his side, paper in front of him. He was copying the article word for word. He wanted to bring it home to share with his family.