Current Issue Back Issues Cards
Issue 13, Spring 2015
Click here to have this issue shipped directly to you.

Logs From San Diego Bay,
   Tom Fehrenbacher
Knowing Why,
   Joanne Sith
My Education at the Met,
   Luis Del Rosario
Rigor Reconsidered,
   Rob Riordan
10 Principles to Move Your School Toward Distributive Leadership,
   Nicole Assisi & Shelli Kurth
Inside a Successful School Project: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,
   Scott Swaaley
Getting More Students Into College: A Foray Into Improvement Science,
   Isaac Jones, Ryan Gallagher,
   Ben Daley & Stacey Caillier
After a Progressive K-12 Education...Then What? First Gen Voices on the Transition to College,
   Jean Kluver & Heather Lattimer

1: Who Am I?
2: Subatomic Black Hole Soup:
    A Graphic Novel Project

3: Run Like A Girl: Don’t Judge Me
4: Response-ABILITY: Empathy in Action
5: 2084: Junk Puppet Theatre
6: Once Upon A Prime
7: Town Squares:
    A San Diego Neighborhoods Project

8: A New Life
9: The Upcycle Project
10: What is your Everest?
11: Project IDEATE
12: Choose Your Own Adventure
      Through U.S. History

13: Apocalypto

A New Life

download pdf

“How can we tell an interesting story that helps people understand our community?” was the essential question that drove the creation of the student-produced documentary, A New Life: A 7th Grade Video Journalism Project. Students began by researching the countries of the refugees and immigrants that they would be interviewing at La Maestra Community Health Center, an organization that assists refugees and immigrants who are new to the United States. The students then analyzed the techniques of professional interviewers, formulated interview questions, conducted interviews and studied video editing to produce the film. They held a premiere of their powerful documentary for a large audience, and saved the front row for the subjects of their film who attended as the evening’s special guests.

Teacher Reflection
What began as interest from students to produce a documentary of familiar people in their lives quickly morphed into something much more profound: a desire to tell the stories of others with very different backgrounds from their own. The students sought to explore and understand the challenges these individuals experienced in an attempt to seek a better life. Students transformed into photographers, interviewers, authors, journalists, sociologists, researchers and documentarians as they sought answers. Their film—the culmination of countless hours of research, practice interviews, and editing—became secondary to a deeper understanding and appreciation for the plight of those who come to America in search of a new life.

Student Reflection
I want people to watch our documentary and take away how lucky we are. There are a lot of people in other countries who don’t have nearly as many opportunities as we have, as much stuff as we have, and as much education as we have. We can really do great things with the opportunities we’ve been given in our country. —Julia