Drawn together by the thrilling tale of a 13-year-old girl’s quest for freedom, The Intergenerational School students and Judson Manor residents engaged in spirited dialogue, sharing stories and memories from their individual lives. With each session, Ms. Overly watched her students’ confidence as readers grow as their conversations and connections with residents deepened.
Ms. Overly recounts her class’ visits to Judson Manor.
“We facilitate experiences born from interactive multi-age learning that have lasting effects. As an Applying Stage (middle-school age) teacher, I take my students to Judson Manor to participate in a book club with residents.
Last year, students and residents all read the historical fiction novel, Chains, by Laurie Halse Anderson. Together, they ultimately decided to continue reading and discussing the entire series. ‘Isabella, one of my students, said ‘I felt like when I talked to the people there, they were just as into the book as I was. It’s also nice to get a new perspective on the books.’
Reading to prepare for and participate in the book club discussions allowed my students an authentic practice of the Ohio Learning Standards. They weren’t simply reading the book and completing assignments, they were practicing the highest levels of learning. They analyzed different perspectives, evaluated evidence to support opinions, and created a shared understanding that wouldn’t have existed without both students’ and residents’ ideas.
On the bus ride back from one book club, I photographed a beaming student, who had decided with a resident, to become pen pals. It was inspiring to see how the power of intergenerational learning built new connections and reflections.”