One Class at a Time, part 1

 I just got home today from an incredible two day experience.

While the film Paperclips does deal with the Holocaust this professional learning was not a Holocaust class, it was about teaching tolerance to children. The thing is throughout these past two days I learned it is so much more than 'tolerance.' In fact, many involved with the Paperclips film and One Clip have a problem with the word tolerance - most of us can tolerate people. I mean sure, we may not like someone or something but we can tolerate and stand to be around it for a little bit. This is more than that. It is about how do we teach our children about stereotypes and prejudice and help them to celebrate those differences. 

We were given a teaching kit which included the film broken into lessons. It is suggested for 5th graders and above. I happen to think children are never to young to learn different aspects of this program. One of the goals is to take what they are seeing and learning and think how it can also be applied to their communities. The students in Tennessee chose to collect paperclips, what would be their action plan? What would be your action plan as a teacher or a person of the community? My wheels have been turning and I cannot wait to share with you after I figure a few more things out. I hope you will take a minute to read the signs above that I saw today and think about how we can apply just these small statements with our students. 


  1. I'm intrigued - think I'll try to find the film. I have always loved that quote from Gandhi - but I LOVE how it's shown here ... would love to put this on my classroom door!

  2. We watched this film last year and wore paper clips as a faculty, but I definitely believe we need to do more than that to make a difference. I believe we have to be honest when we teach our children about the past, and sometimes we have to discuss things people are not comfortable with. For me, I have to teach my fourth graders about the nature of the Middle Passage- not pleasant, but when my lesson is done, some of my kids are emotional, and they seem a bit more grown and determined to see people differently.

    Sophie and Sadie’s Scholarly Site


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