Students Use Their Voice for Change

Eighth grade students in the International Academy at Francis C. Hammond Middle School know that immigration is a controversial topic in America right now. These students wanted to be able to share their stories of immigration. They believe this is important because if they don’t tell their stories, someone else will. Students wrote essays describing how they have changed as a result of moving to the United States. Centered around the them of change, students wrote both of positive changes and negative changes. Their stories, with student and parent permission, will be used by KIND – Kids in Need of Defense, a community partner that uses children’s stories to inform public policy decisions. In addition, the students hosted a family night at their school where they read their stories to their classmates, families and teachers.

Cohort member: Deb Alger

Students: 8th grade English Language Arts students at the International Academy at Francis C. Hammond Middle School

Essential Questions: How can we use our voices to make change? How has our immigrant experience changed us?


Writing 8.7 The student will write in a variety of forms, including narration, exposition, persuasion, and informational.
a) Identify intended audience.
b) Use prewriting strategies to generate and organize ideas.
c) Distinguish between a thesis statement and a topic sentence.
d) Organize details to elaborate the central idea and provide unity.
e) Select specific vocabulary and information for audience and purpose.
f) Use interview quotations as evidence.
g) Revise writing for clarity of content, word choice, sentence variety, and transitions among paragraphs.

Writing 8.8 The student will edit writing for correct grammar, capitalization, punctuation,
spelling, sentence structure, and paragraphing.
a) Use a variety of graphic organizers, including sentence