Eighth Graders Reflect on Immigrants' Stories

As part of an interdisciplinary unit between E.L.A. and Social Studies, the students in Emily O’Reilly’s eighth grade English class were asked to interview an immigrant about his or her life, journey, struggles, and victories. Each student then crafted an essay about that person’s life in either first or third person narrative, Next, the class examined two historical poems: Walt Whitman’s “ I Hear America Singing,” and “I, Too” by Langston Hughes.  Finally, each student crafted a poem, similar in style to Langston’s poem, from the perspective of the immigrant person he or she interviewed. "The empathy and maturity with which the students told their stories was absolutely amazing," said Mrs. O'Reilly. "These young writers truly honored the lives of their subjects." Click below to read some of these poems.