Our actions not only define who we are but also those around us — a lesson learned by some young students at Maple Grove Public School.
The lesson began at the beginning of the school year when two nameless, faceless and all around identity-free dolls named “nobody” showed up at Melissa Philip’s Grade 2-3 class and Sarah Nyman’s kindergarten-Grade 1 class.
It teaches kids to recognize it’s great to help people and living things— Melissa Philip, teacher
“It was our job to turn a nobody into a somebody,” said Philip, explaining that each student took “nobody” home for a week.
The students were required to take “nobody” to help at least one living thing and add a feature to nobody representing what they had done. Students then reported back to their class on what they had done and how they had contributed to “nobody’s” identity.
“(It teaches) kids to recognize it’s great to help people and living things,” said Philip, who explained that as the year progressed, “nobody started to become a somebody.”
Grade 1 student Sofia Stadler took “nobody” along on the Walk for Diabetes.
“I enjoyed doing the walk even though it hurt my ankles,” said Stadler who’s brother suffers from juvenile diabetes. She explained that she and “nobody” learned that “charity is important to help people.”
You can make a difference— Domingo Oliveira, Grade 2 student
Izzy Savanchuk said she learned “anybody can be a somebody” after visiting the Bruce Trail to hang up string and birdseed. Grade 2 student Savanchuk added feather hair and a string mouth to “nobody” to represent the birds that she and her inanimate helper assisted.
“You can make a difference,” said Grade 2 student Domingo Oliveira, explaining what he learned after taking “nobody” to Short Hills Provincial Park to help with plant identification. He contributed some herbs to “nobody” and said “when nobody is a plain old nobody, you can make him a somebody.”
This article was published in the Niagara This Week Newspaper on July 6th 2010