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The Stories We Tell

To look at any thing,


If you would know that thing,


You must look at it long


–John Moffitt


For the past several weeks, PFFSU students at every grade level
have been tasked with examining the richness of their own
family history and culture. Culture can be a slippery concept
even for adults. When asked whether they had a culture at
the beginning of the Family Heritage unit, most kids
responded, “No.” Others screwed their faces up in that
universal expression of bewilderment that teachers know so
well.


The family interview podcasts and family photo essay
projects are designed to provide kids with fun, engaging,
and rigorous ways to inquire, observe, and discover the
history that’s right under their noses. It’s difficult to
convince most middle schoolers that the dusty stories that
shaped their parents, grandparents, tias, tios, god parents,
and life-long-mentors lives are, in fact, priceless treasures.
Some scholars have described culture as the “water we
swim in” or “the air we breathe”. The familiar is easily
rendered invisible. Learning to be still, to focus, and bear
witness to the immediate world is a prerequisite for
understanding the importance of everything else. History is
the collective story we tell ourselves as a society. And that
story, at its best, is a mosaic composed of countless
ordinary tales of wisdom, courage, and imagination.
These first quarter projects invite students and families to
talk, listen, and collaborate in a special way. We look
forward to presenting your stories in a special exhibit. Stay
tuned.

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