While eighth-grade students in Gina Carbone's language arts class read the book ''The Island on Bird Street,'' they also share their ideas and comments with students at a school in Israel who were reading the same book.
In addition to students communicating with each other, the two teachers from both schools also shared ideas and discussed their methods on the Internet. Last month, the students and Carbone had the opportunity to meet the teacher from Israel.
While reading and discussing the book, students were able to do many interesting projects based on the book, Carbone said. Using the Internet, students communicated with students in Israel.
Students in eighth grade language arts teacher Gina Carbone’s class had a recent visit from Orly Menasherov, a teacher in Israel. Menasherov came to the United States last month to visit with students and teachers who have been communicating by computer with her students about the book ‘‘The Island on Bird Street.’’ Menasherov, second from right, brought a quilt with her from her students and presented it to Carbone’s class.
Israeli teacher Orly Menasherov visited W.S. Guy Middle School, as well as other area schools within the book sharing project, to meet students and teachers who have communicated with her and her students at Aliya Shniya School in Alkko, Israel.
"This is the first time we have met in person," Carbone said.
The book, ''The Island on Bird Street,'' is a 1985 semi-autobiographical children's book by Israeli author Uri Orlev. It tells the story of a young boy, Alex, and his struggle to survive alone in a ghetto during World War II.
Carbone and Menasherov encouraged their students to do interactive activities in their classrooms that were based on the book. Some of these activities included designing and building kites and writing reflection papers. The poems and kites involved different themes such as love, hate, Utopia and characterization.
Menasherov said she was excited to visit the United States. She has also visited schools in Dayton and Dallas. She brought a quilt the students made for the class.
In addition to Menasherov, five teachers and a few students also came to the United States from Israel to meet the teachers and students they have corresponded and worked with throughout the project.
The program consists of each student having an Israeli partner. During the book sharing project, the students had the opportunity to become friends and exchanged birthday cards they created.
Monica Dripps, 14, said she thought the class projects were fun and often wondered when she was communicating with the students in Israel what they were like. Many of their opinions about the book were similar, she said.
"Now that I have gotten to meet their teacher and hear about them, they are just like us in many ways," Monica said.
Tariq Amireh, 14, said it was fun working with the students across the world and to hear their opinions and feelings about the book, and Kylie Banjak, 14, said the class activities gave her a chance to talk to different people who were reading the same book.
"It's important to read the book so it helps us to realize what can be done to make sure the Holocaust doesn't happen again,'' Kylie said.
Carbone said the book's main character, Alex, is 13, and the students can relate to him.
Savon Rodgers, 15, said the book gave good background about the Holocaust and shows what children from other parts of the world thought about it.
"I live in a very fortunate time," he said.