Objects can be powerful triggers of memory. Sixth graders are rounding off their year by considering the role of memory in helping to create the person they are.
With Ms. Carrington, Ms. Smith, and Mrs. Savage, students read and considered the coming of age story Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. Throughout the book, the main character, a middle schooler named Delsie, struggles with discovering her own identity while coping with her mother's abandonment and the loss of an important friendship. Delsie lives with her grandmother and creates "memory shakers" (glass jars filled with memories) with items that her grandmother has kept from her mother and her grandfather.
Students in the class made their own "memory shakers" to remind them of their past and how far they have come. Items include everything from souvenirs from vacation and family heirlooms to pictures and letters. Ms. Carrington, Ms. Smith, and Mrs. Savage encourage the students to keep these jars as a reminder of who they are and the stories they have to tell.
Mrs. Savage reflects, "This memory jar project really brings the year full circle. We started the year off with a focus on memoir writing and they worked diligently on their memoirs. With everything we are going through with quarantine, it is a constant reminder that the a memory doesn't have to be a huge life-changing moment, but memories are often little moments that help us learn about ourselves and who we have grown to be."