Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Teachable Moment via Bin Laden

Day 7 of 30 Day Blog Challenge
I started back at school Monday after a refreshing Spring Break. What a great day to start back. After President Obama’s speech Sunday night about the death of Osama Bin Laden, I knew I had to scrap everything I was doing in class Monday, and discuss and reflect on this teachable moment. I gathered resources via my twitter feeds and put together a few ideas. Many of my students filled the classroom with chatter about what they had heard from their parents or what they had seen that morning on the local news. A group of kids asked me if I had seen any of President Obama’s speech, or the video footage of Bin Laden’s compound. We discussed the various findings all of us had encountered within the last 12 hours and further investigated via the internet. We found video clips from different media outlets, interactive timelines of Bin Laden’s life, and numerous articles.
Here is what my students gathered from the information they collected.
1.       They were glad he was killed and that some justice has been brought to all of his victims.
2.       A few of them right away questioned the legitimacy of his death and asked why his body was buried at sea. Conspiricay?
3.       What will happen next? Will there be a terrorist attack on the U.S. because of this?
These are pretty interesting reflections for kids who were only two years old when the horrific events of September 11th occurred. I am happy that I spent time on this historical day, and let my students share their thoughts, insights, and beliefs. As a culmination to our discussion, the kids’ blogged about Bin Laden and what they thought of his death.
Sometimes lesson plans need to be scrapped for matters that are more important, and relevant to the lives of students. The path of learning is not a straight line of dates, numbers, and grammar rules. Learning is the variable of which the world offers you. I can honestly say my students learned more today from the events that took place Sunday night, than if we would have discussed compound predicates and the medieval social class.

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