Students’ ‘thoughtful’ poems impress teachers

Published 4:51 am Saturday, February 7, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Howard Elementary third grade students' work on a recent poem writing project far exceeded their teachers' expectations.
Third grade teachers Beth Altergott and Jack Perham recenty taught a series of classes on civil rights for their social studies classes.
With Martin Luther King Day in January and Feburary being Black History Month, the teachers felt it was the perfect time to teach them about the history of civil rights.
The classes talked about segregation and the start of the civil rights movement in the 1950s.
As an assignment, the students were given a poem about civil rights written in the 1950s. They were asked to come up with their own poem about civil rights in their world.
The title of the poems are "America Today" and the students were given a basic formula to follow.
Altergott and Perham were truly impressed with the students' responses.
Altergott said she got goosebumps when she first got a chance to read the poems.
Perham said he wants the students to understand that "we have really come a long way since 1950, but we still have a long way to go."
While the teachers were impressed with all of the poems, they chose the following four poems as the most outstanding responses.
Brooke Wilson
Today, Americans wonder how our nation was so segregated just 50 years ago.
Americans hear the song "We Are The World" sung by people of all colors while holding hands.
Americans see children of all races attending schools together.
Americans want a strong unity to continue throughout our nation.
Americans feel no one person is better than another.
Today, America is a place where anyone can live anywhere and be treated equal and with respect.
Dakota McDonald
Today, Americans wonder are we truly equal?
Americans hear people that still do not have freedom.
Americans see civil rights still working today.
Americans want freedom for everyone.
Americans feel upset when they see prejudice.
Today, America is a place where children have a future.
Hannah Porterfield
Today, Americans wonder why we have war.
Americans hear the word HATE more than LOVE.
Americans see people dying.
Americans want a peaceful future.
Americans feel pain because we still have racism.
Today, America is a place where people still want a better future for all children.
Kyle Mikel
Today, Americans wonder if we will find Bin Laden.
Americans hear the spirit of the dead saying, "Fight!"
Americans see Saddam Hussein captured.
Americans want to win the war.
Americans feel that Saddam should be seized.
Today, America is a place where we're free.