A Truth Teller Dinner Party

I am a special and regular educator in Madison, WI. My students used your images to discuss how some people choose to do amazing things with their lives: some in big ways, some in small ways, but always by finding something they believe in and for which they are willing to take a stand and work.

Students chose a person from your images and completed a biography project. Your images and related stories had a wonderful impact on these children! Best example: one girl chose Jane Addams Hull, then happened to notice while listening to the radio on the way to school that the Hull House in Chicago was closing. Current event, connected directly to that student's life. We had a "dinner party" with students sharing their biographies with each other as if they were the person they studied. It was fantastic to "see" Zinn sitting next to Chomsky sitting next to Mother Jones sitting next to Woody Guthrie...etc! We shared videos of various portions of speeches and songs, or pictures of places people lived or worked, during "musical interludes" while students changed seats in order to meet new people. (The following year the Zinn, Chomsky, and Debs students formed an independent reading group and read "A Young People's History of the United States" - during the school year and also throughout the summer! - the most fantastic teaching experience for me yet, and I credit it to you and this project!)

We took it one additional step. Students then created a book of their own modeled after your project. They used photos of themselves and had to write an essay about something they believed in enough for which to work for and take a stand. The ideas they came up with surprised and inspired me. It is by far one of the most meaningful class projects we've completed, in terms of getting students to focus on what is really important to them and their community.

Thank you so much for your work! I look forward to introducing students to your images every year.

Lincoln Elementary, Madison Wisconsin