What if you had to leave your home and could only take with you items that filled a shoebox? What would you take? This question invokes cannot be an easy one to answer. At least for me it was not. I decided for my shoebox I would fill it with as many of my pictures as I could. For me my pictures are everything. They hold so many stories and memories many that I do not remember because they were before I was born or because I was too young. Others I do not remember until I see the picture of the event and it brings back a whole set of memories and stories. If I had to leave my home I would take my pictures. They tell parts of my life and my family’s life and show my family over time. I have other items I would like to save, but these are the most important. This activity brought a lot of different items into the classroom because everyone values different things. Some similarities were present, but everyone had different items. One thing was certain we all have personal items we value because of the sentimental value and memories attached to them. This activity provokes emotions. It also could easily be connected to historical events where people were limited to what they could save and take with them. In times of war, migration, and natural disaster all of these types of events can be connected to the shoebox activity. Students can then write about or give a speech about their own items, how a specific type of event might affect them, and how others in similar situations may feel. The writing topics are endless with this kind of activity. Students can also write about other people’s items that they decide are important to them. Students can read about events that caused people to make hard choices on what to save and about people who lost everything. This kind of activity can be used at many different levels depending on the event it is connected to. I hope at some point I can use this during my teaching to help my student learn about others and their situations, to help them learn about themselves, and to help me learn about what is important to my students.
Creative ideas at this blog:
The blog link below has creative ideas on immigration which can be connected to the shoebox activity: