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Anthology book project in Humanities

This+is+Billy+Johnson%2C+one+of+the+veterans+participating+in+the+project.
This is Billy Johnson, one of the veterans participating in the project.

This is Billy Johnson, one of the veterans participating in the project.

This is Billy Johnson, one of the veterans participating in the project.

Morgan Harris, Reporter

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Humanities students, both freshmen and sophomores, are participating in an anthology book project based around veterans. They will interview veterans and write about their stories.

“Students are going to be paired with a veteran that has volunteered to be a part of the project,” Carrie Butts, a humanities and AP world history teacher, said. “They are going to develop questions based off of the information [the veterans] have given, basically where they’ve served, what time period, if it’s during war time; they’ll do research on those time periods to develop a better understanding of what was going on in the world, and then they’ll develop some questions to ask them about their service, and what they did, and any pertinent stories that they want to share.”

Students are interviewers, writers, or editors; editors monitor groups of interviewers and writers, organize the project, and develop a format for the anthology book, amongst other jobs.

Then the editors; we have a group of students that are editors that are going to get some managerial experience, they’re going to be working on templates, learning how to get some people to get their job done too, so there is going to be some leadership roles that are also going to be leadership experience,” Lauren Hodum, a humanities and AP English 3 teacher, said.

This project gives students a primary source to experiences of war, and they can refer to that source during their study of wars.

“This year we’ll be studying the second half of world history,” Butts said. “So it is going to be mostly during the second semester, modern times, where WW1, WW2, Vietnam, Korean war; and so it’s going to help them fully understand the time periods and also make a connection to the human side of it and what people actually went through and what their life was really like.”

This anthology project adds to the humanities curriculum because it blends History and English.

“I think it’s a great blending of history, especially modern history with a lot of the wars that we’re dealing with we are going to be talking in the spring semester, and then coupling it with writing,” Hodum said. “That’s one of our big things, is looking at ways that we can see history and literature kind of coming together and working with each other so this is doing both of those things.”

Mrs. Butts and Mrs. Hodum also want to give their students a connection to the past and a chance to remember an older generation.

“I think because of the content that we’re teaching this year we need to honor stories,” Butts said. “We have a lot of people who are passing away, and these are older generations that are passing away, and we’re going to lose those stories so it’s important to share those.”

Students will have an opportunity to talk to their veteran in person or over video to interview and learn more about them.

“I really hope that I can learn new information about what these veterans have given to our country, because I just know personally, I have so much respect for these people, and you know we read all about these different wars and battles and things that they’ve been in but I think we don’t really get to know the full story until we get their perspective, so I think that is what I’m really hoping to get from this,” Madelyn Moody, a sophomore and editor, said.

Mrs. Butts and Mrs. Hodum sent out emails and contacted as many veterans as they could to participate in this project.

“We sent out an email; we started with the veterans that have come to the luncheon here at prosper for veterans day, we started with those and then through connections in McKinney through the veterans office there, and then just having parents email back and letting us know the school district has sent out flyers; and we’ve just had this amazing reception of it and people will say “well I know so or so that has connections to this or that,” and we just have had a good response to it,” Butts said.

The anthology book will be published, and students will be able to put on their college applications and resumes that their writing is published in a book.

“From this project I’m hoping to become a published author, and get to know my veteran better and get to know how they live in society now,” Morgan Young, a sophomore, said.

The skills students’ use in this project will benefit them in other classes and in their everyday life.

“There’s going to be deadlines, there’s working together, there’s coordinating all of this activity, and so the students are going to be able to show that they are a published author, and that’s something they can put on their applications for colleges,” Butts said. “It’s something they can write about in those essays they have to do for colleges; maybe this is a career path for somebody, so I think there’s a lot of benefit to that.”

The humanities teachers and other staff working on the project hope to finish in the spring.

“I just think it’s a really unique opportunity that you don’t really get to come across and I really want to have huge props for Mrs. Butts, Mrs. Hodum, and anybody else that might’ve been involved in kind of organizing this project, to even have the idea of ‘Hey, you know let’s give these kids the opportunity to meet with these veterans and talk to them and get to learn more about what their experiences are,’” Moody said. “I think that idea is absolutely amazing and I know I personally never would’ve dreamt of something like that, so major props to them on that.”

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Anthology book project in Humanities