Look Across the Ocean
Paideia's 7th and 8th Grade students created two incredible citizens of the world puzzles for their friends at in class 6B at EP Primary School. Lele King, the CIH facilitator who worked with the students and their teachers - the amazing Martha and Greg - as they prepared the puzzle pieces, shared that it was an introspective and collaborative process. When assembled, the puzzle pieces fit together to look like the Earth. When separated and flipped to the opposite side, each piece spoke to the unique personality and beliefs of the individual students. In trying to convey what it means to be a citizen of the world, each student selected a special word that they believed to be important. Students selected words like empathy, integrity, compassion, communication, contribution, loyalty, imagination, participation, awareness, respect, and open-mindedness. Students also decorated their individual pieces with pictures and meaningful messages that came from their hearts.
Cory, Grade 8, wrote this: “Dear Ghanese [sic] Children, I have always wanted to go to Africa to help people like you get technology and water. I hope that you too can pursue your dreams. I know who you are. I can sort of feel you. You have the potential to pursue whatever you want to accomplish. Rose are red violets are blue, look behind you and I’ll see you. Look across the ocean, I’ll always be there. Look at the puzzle’s back, and kindness will flare into your body like a ray of fire.”
Our team in Ghana reported that it took the students some time to put the physical pieces together. Kelvin realized after about 20 minutes, that they had the two puzzles intertwined. They separated the pieces and began the process again. Perserverance and collaboration endured, and nearly an hour later, they could finally see the larger pictures. Kelvin commented, "I, myself, couldn't find my way around it." We chuckled. They do not grow up with puzzles in Ghana, so they haven't learned the tricks for putting them together, and, in fairness, they also did not have a photo of the finished product from which to work.
Each student was handed a piece of the puzzle and they beamed as they held these works of art in their hands. The students began excitedly to create their own, knowing how much laughter and joy their friends would have in reconstructing the masterpiece.
We love that this project really shows the interconnectedness of people and ideas. In active citizenship, every person has a piece to play, so it is quite symbolic that each student's contribution was important to the construction of the whole. Each puzzle piece - like each one of us - is unique, yet when our ideas are put together, they speak together in a harmonious voice that is positive, hopeful, and incredibly inspiring.