Social Studies, Math, Special Education--Middle School--Contanika Johnson, Donna Jones, Veronica Simmons, and Nefertari Yancie--(Team-- Building Bridge)
Huffman Middle School/Birmingham City Schools
Blackrock Castle was a fort that sits on the mouth of the Cork Harbor.
|Our Souls are now Irish--Project Summary:|
|This summer we traveled to Skibbereen, Ireland to research the Potato Famine, or the Great Hunger. Our goal was to research the causes and effects of the famine and how it caused the forced immigration of millions of Irish people to America. Most of our students associate forced immigration with the many Africans who were forced to come to America for slavery. Yet, many Irish people were forced to come to America due to the conditions in Ireland. We "Team Building Bridges" wanted to show our students how different cultures share common experiences. Our cultures and traditions may be different and we may not look or talk the same but we can find connections with other cultures. We can begin to accept the differences and use the similarities to build bridges of understanding and tolerance. Our research was deepened by seeing first-hand the rich culture and resilience of the Irish people and land. We met people who shared the stories of their ancestors and visited sites whose history whispered its stories as we walked in the footsteps of those before us. We quickly realized we would need to travel beyond Skibbereen to gain a full picture of the devastation of the Great Hunger. Our first stop was an old fort in Cork City, Blackstone Castle. We took a tour where we learned the history of the fort and how it was used for defense and to spot badly needed supply ships. We also visited the Cork City Goal, pronounced “jail”. Walking through the gates of Cork City Goal was like going back through time. During the Potato Famine many people would commit crimes on purpose to be jailed so they would receive meals and shelter. We then went north to Cobh where we visited the Cobh Heritage Center. We found a treasure trove of primary sources that tell the story of the immigrants who left Ireland and resettled in America. Did you know the first immigrant to be processed at Ellis Island was Annie Moore from Ireland? At the Skibbereen Heritage Center we saw the Great Hunger Exhibit and there we gleaned how overwhelming and devastating the famine was to Ireland. Last, we hopped a ferry to Spike Island, a prison where many people were jailed due to “crimes of hunger”. Many people, even children, were held here because they had stolen food to survive. We also met a local man, Hopper, who took us on an impromptu tour of Cobh and told us many stories you would not find in a tour book! This was a trip we will always remember and as the Irish would say, our souls are now Irish!|
Their Students are in Alabama but their Souls are Irish Fund for Teachers facebook entry
Last modified: Tuesday, 25 November 2014, 10:32 AM