Take a look at this website. Since ten of the walls in my book are on the WHS protected list I talk a lot about preservation with students and teachers.
This a great blog to follow news and information from and about the African continent!
Of course we don’t literally believe Africa is a Country (unlike say rapper Rick Ross). The title of the blog is ironic and is a reaction to old and tired images of “Africa”. We deliberately challenge and destabilize received wisdom about the African continent and its people in Western media — that definition includes “old (nationally oriented) media,” new social media as well as “global news media”.
Last spring I talked to a 5th grade class about the illustration and story in Talking Walls about the WALL in DC. We talked about Maya Lin and the polished granite and since 1982 how so many people have spent time at the wall.
I then asked the students if they had any comments or questions and one boy told me he had a question. He was wondering if so many people visited the wall and touched it with their hands and tears and then left things he thought the wall would be very dirty and wanted to know if anyone ever washed it. I told him that no one had ever asked me that question before , but what did he think?. He was not sure and I told him it would be easy to find out, so I read this article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/washing-the-wall-to-remember-vietnam-vets/2011/05/09/AGJxZsCH_story.html and when I was in DC on a sunny spring day I helped to wash the wall. It was an amazing, moving experience to join other volunteers not only to wash a national monument, but also to meet and talk to veterans and tourists who came to visit the wall that day. I took pictures back to the 5th graders and thanked the student for his question and reminded them they too could wash the wall!
This is a great book to introduce the concept of walls. Leo Lionni wrote it right before the Berlin Wall came down in 1989.Listen to the book :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IojcfjO5kYo
The Goldman Environmental Awards http://www.goldmanprize.org/ are a great way to introduce your students to people all over the world who are working in their communities. 2015 recipients are from: Kenya, Haiti, Canada, Scotland, Myanmar and Honduras. Get to know these grassroots heroes!
I am a big fan of the Monitor’s making a difference essays. Have your students read them to learn about all the cool work good people are doing all over the world. Your students could write essays about people in your community that are making a difference.
I have been corresponding with a 10th grader from Chicago who was born in Ethiopia and contacted me after she had read my article http://www.margyburnsknight.com/teachafrica.html . She hopes to work with a few teachers to create an elective next year. I told her on the phone that I would send her a her a copy of Africa is Not a Country and Talking Walls Discover Your World and when the books arrived be sure to read the last sentence in Talking Walls, a Nelson Mandela quote. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”