Sunday, 2 August 2015

Our budding grade 4 writers at work

Reading this week's paragraphs a week was really invigorating. I knew this week's topic was a bit demanding on my fourth graders but the submissions surprised me in many ways. When I read what my students wrote I felt I almost had a glance at the future that is theirs alone. As I was reading the paragraphs, I was instantly reminded of a poem written by Kahlil Gibran. I can connect to it very strongly as a parent and I feel every line is as deep and powerful as it gets.

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

That said, here are few paragraphs done by our fourth graders. 

'If I were an exchange student in a foreign country'

A student exchange means students from a secondary school or university study abroad in one of their partner institutions. A student exchange program may involve international travel, but doesn't necessarily require the student to study outside of his or her home country.
Well, if I were an exchange student, I bet it would feel good because I would get to live in a new culture, make new friends, explore new methods of learning and increase my knowledge. There are a lot more things to do but I would really miss all of my family and it would be difficult for me to be far away from them. Sometimes it would be scary for me and I would not be up for it. It would be hard for me to adjust to the new culture because I am not used to it but it is better for my life.
Hard work and perseverance will lead to success. Even though it would be difficult for us to leave our family and go to another country as exchange students, it is better for our future.

Rishika, grade 4

Travelling to a foreign country for education offers an opportunity for adventure, imagination, fun, and knowledge. Staying away from my incredible India, my family and my friends would be very hard and difficult for me but I could keep in touch with them through phone, e-mail,  and Facebook. I would become more independent and confident in myself and the choices I make. I would be able to understand and embrace the new place, people, culture, and language. I am allowed to make mistakes as long as I learn from them. I am sure I would have an ecstatic experience abroad. 

Ananthika, grade 4

Yippee! I am going to study abroad. I have mixed feelings about it. I am happy, excited, sad, nervous and all possible feelings. I am happy because I will be studying in a new school and at the same time I am sad because I will have to leave my family and go alone all the way. I will be excited because I will meet new friends, explore new places, traditions, culture and food. I will be homesick as I will miss my parents and dear ones. Though we can have so much of new technology to keep everyone connected all the time, we cannot actually feel their presence. I will definitely miss my mother's food and my family's love It will also be a challenge for me to be alone and manage myself but it will make me stronger and a better person.. Though I'll make mistakes initially, I will definitely improve to make myself the best. This will be a great experience for me to grow in life.

Venya, grade 4

If I were an exchange student in a foreign country, I would go to USA. I would be upset to go to a foreign country and study there, leaving my parents. I would feel homesick. In a foreign country everything would be completely strange to me. Without friends I would feel left out in the hostel. It would be difficult for me to do my work myself, like washing my clothes and cleaning my shoes. In the class, I wouldn't  be able to understand the concepts ad the teachers would be new to me. I would face these problems only at the beginning. Slowly, I would adjust and study there happily.

Yashwant, grade 4

If I were and exchange student in a foreign country, I would like to go to Oxford city. Oxford is in England which is a country in the British Isles. Oxford is in central southern England and it revolves around its prestigious university established in 12th century. It would be difficult to stay away from my family for a year but I would like to know about Oxford university. I would like to tell them about my country. I would describe them about our famous universities like Indian Institute of Science, University of Delhi, etc. I would like to share with them about my country's varied culture. It would be a knowledgeable and joyful visit to Oxford. It would be hard to adjust in a new culture but in few daysI think I would adapt to new ways. No, I wouldn't find it scary in fact, I would love to visit Oxford.

Aarya, grade 4

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