Classes in Conversation
In all, four classes participated in an e-mail exchange in 1996 Ms. Jones and Ms. Rotter led classes for Meadow Ridge Elementary in Kent, and Ms. Bibbs and Ms. Cox led the third-grade classes in Birmingham.
This page contains the e-mail exchange between the classes led by Ms. Jones and Ms. Cox.
Jan. 10, 1996
Dear Ms. Cox's 3rd Grade class,
Greetings from Washington!! We are very excited to be participating in this wonderful and unique project. Now that the holidays are over and school is in session, we find that our lives are back to normal.
Both Mrs. Jones' class and my own have begun our study of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We started the week by brainstorming both, "What we know about MLK Jr." and "What we want to know about MLK Jr." Our facts are as follows:
Today, in Mrs. Jones' class, we discussed Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech. After a productive brainstorming session talking about our dreams for the world, we wrote our own ending to "I Have A Dream....." Here are a few of our dreams:
"I Have A Dream....."
Mrs. Jones' 3rd Grade
Jan. 12, 1996
Dear Ms. Jones and students,
We enjoyed your letter and were very excited to hear about all of the interesting activities you've been working on in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. We have had a busy week as well, and have really learned a great deal about this famous leader.
We were introduced to Dr. King and his work by two books, A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr., by David Adler, and Martin Luther King Day, by Linda Lowery. Both books gave information about Dr. King, from his early childhood up until his tragic death. Our class knew many things about his life and were able to add to the discussion with even more facts.
We also made "I Have A Dream.." mobiles to hang in our classroom. After brainstorming our dreams for our community, the country, and the world, we each made a mobile with three of these dreams written on clouds hanging from strings.
Some of our dreams included, "that there would be no more violence and shooting", "that there would be no more drugs" and "that there would be an end to drinking and driving".
Our biggest project was a Big Book about MLK, Jr. We wrote many facts about Dr. King during his life. Then, we worked in pairs or groups of three to copy our facts onto the big pages. The pages were then beautifully illustrated, and we were able to publish the book the very same day. Sharing the book with other classes will be one of our projects for next week.
Today we watched two videos: Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Peaceful Warrior, and Fighting Fair, which was about how to solve everyday conflicts without fighting. Our music teacher, Mr. MacPhereson, taught us some songs about freedom. One was called "Old Freedom". Next Wednesday we will be visiting the Civil Rights Institute with Ms. Bibb's 3rd grade class. We will write and tell you about it when we get back!
Birmingham has plenty of activities this week in honor of Dr. King's birthday. There are poetry readings, concerts, lectures and meetings that anyone can attend. Monday is, of course, a holiday, and the city will host a memorial march as well as the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Love Feast for The Homeless and Senior Citizens. Many of our families will be involved in these activities.
We hope that you enjoyed studying the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as much as we did. We are looking forward to your next letter. Have a nice weekend and holiday!
Ms. Cox's Third Grade
Feb. 1, 1996
Dear Mrs. Cox's Class,
This week and last week has been CRAZY!! We've had a few days off due to inclement weather and a few late starts. We don't get a lot of snow here, but when we do, it seems everyone stays inside and everything shuts down. Thank goodness tomorrow is back to the regular schedule!
We were all so happy to receive your letter. Sorry ours has been so delayed. We have a beautiful bulletin board outside our room. It is entitled, "Dr. King's Quilt of Dreams." Mrs. Rotter's class worked with us to complete this fabulous project. For this project, we brainstormed words and ideas for pictures that described Dr. King's beliefs and dreams. Then we each got a paper quilt square. In the middle we drew Dr. King's face. On the four triangular shapes next to the middle, we drew two pictures and wrote two words. Some important words we thought of were:
In other parts of the curriculum, we are learning about subtraction with regrouping, practicing for a musical performance, reading tall-tales, and always practicing our spelling!
Once again, sorry for our letter's delay. We're just starting to thaw out and get back to normal! Hope to hear from you soon.
Mrs. Jones' Class
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