In a week like this, students need something fun and stimulating to do in the afternoon, so it occured to me, what's more fun and stimulating than origami? And what if we could learn some origami AND help out the victims in Japan at the same time? Turns out that Students Rebuild - http://studentsrebuild.org/japan/ - is running a fundraising program together with DoSomething.org that asks students to send in origami cranes in order to spur the Bezos Family Foundation to donate $2 per bird to the relief effort. How cool is that?!
We began by reading Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, a short book based on the story of a real girl in Japan who was 2 when the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. She was diagnosed with leukemia at age 11 and died at age 12. This story provided the students some background knowledge about Japan, as well as the effects of radiation on people. It also helped them understand the significance of the crane as a symbol for peace and hope. Today we are watching a short video on how to construct the cranes - viewable at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ux1ECrNDZl4.
I'm encouraging students to make at least one or two cranes, but the more we can send, the more money will go to victims. Also, once all the cranes have been mailed in, they will be put together in an art installation. Very exciting!