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Bringing School Projects to the Real World: i3 Students Writing Memoirs

At i3 Academy the Creative Writing classes are working on making memoirs for residents at Las Palmas. Students have been working on them by interviewing tenants, writing the memoirs, and participating in skill-building workshops for a few weeks now. They are learning skills such as how to interview others, write stories about other people’s lives from a different point of view, getting in contact after one visit, and much more.

I asked a few students what they have learned academically and they all replied with similar answers, which in this case is good because they are learning what teacher Mrs. Corinne Schaefer intended. 

Amber Britz, a junior in the creative writing 2 class, stated, “I have learned academically how to write a story about a person.”

Fellow junior Joel Foley explained, “I learned how to take information that is given to me and transform it into a story that properly portrays their memories and past experiences.”

Then freshman Grant Hendrickson stated, “I learned academically how to use stories told by other people to write our own stories.”

Then, I asked what they have taken out of this project in a more inspirational way.

Amber Britz said, “This project inspired me to live life to the fullest and don’t worry about the small things because life can get better.”

Joel Foley explained, “I learned that it’s incredibly important to respect your elders because you don’t know what they have had to go through or what they’ve done in their life.”

Then Grant Hendrickson stated, “Learning about the pasts of the men and women we interviewed inspired me to live my life to the fullest like they did.”

The students in the class have enjoyed projects they’ve done in the past few months, but having the opportunity to interview a mix of four women and a man in their 90’s have taught the students multiple lessons. This includes a valuable lesson that a woman named Billy Jones explained. She said that high school students shouldn’t expect to accomplish everything in their young life because they still have a long future ahead of them. This overall is a great project for students in terms of learning real life lessons and really absorbing what our elders say. 

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