When the Montclair Cooperative School re-opened on Friday after Hurricane Sandy many of the children arrived from homes without power.  First Grade Teacher Amanda Marchesani and Assistant Teacher Lindsay Goldberg knew that the children needed a way to process their experience.  First they shared their stories – then they used different means of creative expression to record the images in their heads.

As a group, the class created a mural using torn paper and mixed media.  First, they created a neighborhood with houses along a street. Then they added things that they saw during and after the storm.

Can you find the things the first- graders saw?  They saw:

  • fallen branches
  • hanging tree branches
  • a tree on a car
  • cars lining up for gas
  • broken power lines
  • raindrops & water
  • trash and leaves in the wind
  • broken bikes and toys
  • pieces of roof
  • halloween decorations in the water
  • satellite dishes on the ground
  • fallen crane
  • caution tape around fallen trees
  • broken cones
  • broken garbage cans

Next, they wrote a poem:

On Monday We Had a Hurricane

Too loud……noisy wind,
With the banging of the branches,
Sticks everywhere,
Wind report: “Branch falling in the road!”
Trees falling on trees,
A HUGE tree falling on a HUGE house,
My christmas tree fell down,
A tree falling on a window and breaking it
Scared of hearing thunder and seeing lightening,
A really loud bang in the night.
Power out while playing a game on the computer
And power out before bed
Friends come over,
Sleeping in my living room in the dark
A safe family.

~Written by the first graders at the Montclair Cooperative School

Alumni whose schools were still closed stopped by for the Friday all-school assembly.  Dewey Gelnaw-Brickley, class of 2010, brought a friend who had not been to the Co-op before.  As they were leaving the assembly Dewey’s friend said “Now, this is a childhood!”

One reply on “On Monday We Had a Hurricane”

  1. This is really neat – these students will always remember and appreciate being given the time and space to thoughtfully share what was happening in their world as they re-started school. It is an example of great teaching that will go beyond this event – just imagine the trust and confidence in the classroom those children will have!

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