As we were bringing together our utopia study this week, I was trying to drive home even more directly our question about how reading world literature would make us world citizens who think. So, I told my class that they had seen me bring in real-world connections to our studies through magazine, newspaper, and web articles I had come across. I wanted to let them know that THEY could be the ones doing this. Well, what do you know -- I had two students bring in connections the very next day. We had a great time looking at them -- one is the picture at the opening of this post (she promises she was not moving when she snapped the photo of the car in front of her!) and one was this article.
In the end, all of my students' interesting essential question work and the real-life connections they are making just proves to me again that students will achieve at the level you expect them to. They will do amazing things when they believe you believe they can.