Stories Worth Telling
What makes a story worth telling? Miss Potts’ fourth grade class has spent some time this winter focused on this question. As a starting point, Miss Potts’ grandma Mrs. Haak (a former teacher) came in and shared her story with the class. She helped the kids to think about God’s faithfulness and how, despite the fact that life has a lot of changes, God never changes. The Bible is full of stories of people not so different from us who had amazing stories.
The class of students brainstormed some reasons that stories are worth telling, and after more reflection, started creating their own autobiographies. Being on average 10 years old, their autobiographies were rather short. Once they finished their stories, they shared them with some of the residents at Christian Care.
After sharing their autobiographies, the students each interviewed a resident so that they could write a biography about their (considerably longer) stories. In preparation for this phase of the project, Grandma Haak came back and shared with the class a little bit about Alzheimer’s disease. She helped the kids understand the disease and shared a story about her friend with Alzheimer’s. She shared that even though the disease changes the person’s life, they are still the same person inside. Grandma Haak prepared the kids a little bit of how to talk to people at Christian Care or what to do if they don’t respond in ways we might expect.
We asked the students to share what they learned from the stories that the residents shared. Here are a few their responses:
Bryson: You can learn a lot from older people because you might ask them about it and they can help you with what to do.
Braeden: Their lives are kind of like us. (He liked games and basketball and baseball too).
Mia: Even though they may have disabilities they are still the same person.
Ny’Asia: Even if a person is having a bad day or eats different they are still a lot like you.
Miss Potts asked the students to think about what they hope for as they get older. A few of their responses:
Leah “I can’t wait to see what God has planned for me in the future. I hope I live an amazing life with God, and a good relationship with my friends. I love my family, friends, and God and I count on them to help me at hard and good times through my life. I think life is going to be amazing with them.”
Becca “I’m so thankful for all the gifts that God has given me. I hope that when I get older I can use my gifts to serve others right now I can use my gifts to serve my family by baking cakes”.
Our students were inspired by many of the stories that the residents shared. As Isaac summarized, “They have experiences that we haven’t and they can give us advice to help us. Because they might have learned it the hard way. Maybe when I’m older I can do that (give advice to younger people) – because I’ve learned a lot of things the hard way.”