Today I visited Patriots Point to facilitate a field study for 14 teachers. The big delight was a panel discussion with two WWII veterans- One man who was in the Navy and another man was in the merchant Marines. The told great stories and I do admire their bravery. I am so appreciate for what they and many men did for our country. Our young boys at that time were trained to kill or be killed and that is what they did. No other war was fought so intensely by our country to save who we are in this World and no other War like that will ever be fought again. The wars we see today we have a tough time identifying our enemy. The men had great stories.
The group of teachers today were third through fifth grade teachers who sat with me and listened to these stories. We are together as learners ourselves absorbing the stories of the fabric of America. We now have a new place to put WWII in our classrooms as we face Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and Constitution Day. We have images and a new context to share with our kids on these days. We have something new and powerful knowledge as deliver instruction whether its part of these special days or part of the curriculum in fifth grade. We have a new story to tell. The stories we have are now linked to images. We now have to new images of two WWII veterans telling their story.
We need to provide more images in our teaching lives. Students need time to explore and analyze images. Images need to be a part of the landscape of every classroom. Don’t just talk about WWII. Show the students the images of the war and use the images to tell the story of the war. Use the images to:
- evoke/envision the textual world,
- ask questions,
- make and test predictions,
- make connections, and
- promote understanding.
Using images in the classroom is a mindset.151