Back to Projects

Many Faces, Many Places – One New Life

School: Four Rivers Charter Public School

City/State: Greenfield, MA

Grade(s): 8

Format(s): Calendar

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Social Studies

Project Overview

This 2005 calendar was created by 8th grade students at the Four Rivers Charter School in Greenfield, Massachusetts, as part of a Learning Expedition on immigration. While creating the calendar - which celebrates new Americans (people who had recently immigrated to the United States) – students also did in-depth reading about immigrant families and studied the countries of origin of those interviewed.

Students worked with people from the Center for New Americans, a locally-based non-profit organization that serves immigrants, refugees and migrants. Students also worked with several other community-based experts including a photographer and a person with expertise in portraiture.

Each month of the calendar features a different New American. Each entry includes a lyrically expressive physical/personality description of the person interviewed, evoking the spirit of the person, information about where the person immigrated from and a digital photograph of the person.

Students also included international holiday and multicultural information in their calendar.

Copies of the calendar were distributed to the interviewees and were available at the Center for New Americans.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Highlights a product with a multifaceted authentic audience – the people interviewed and people who bought and used the calendar
  • Unique use of expressive writing to capture the essence of who the interviewees are and where they come from
  • The format of the calendar is thoughtful – combines digital photography, a quote from the interview, and two forms of student writing
  • Captures the challenges as well as the positive aspects of coming to the United States
  • Provides a means for students to better appreciate diversity in their community

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can use correct grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • I can use correct capitalization, punctuation and spelling to send a clear message to my reader.
  • I can intentionally use verbs in active and passive voice and in the conditional and subjunctive mood.
  • I can use evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection and research.
  • I can produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate to task, purpose and audience.
  • EL has not created long-term learning targets for WHST standards.
  • EL has not created long-term learning targets for WHST standards.
Back to Projects