DDES is co-housed with Emily Griffith Technical College, which offers training programs for students from 94 countries who speak 72 languages. Many students who attend the technical college are refugee students that are enrolled in language and job training classes. As students were studying changing populations, the 4th graders at DDES reached out to the the school to get first hand accounts about the experience of relocating to a foreign country. The interviews between the students as Emily Griffith and DDES students, quickly developed into genuine relationships. The student's own journey of developing empathy and appreciation for others had a deep impact in their lives. The students felt inspired to spend awareness for the importance of providing resources for refugees that were relocating to their state. They also wanted to encourage others to follow in their footsteps, by making connections, building bridges, and creating a culture that is welcoming and safe for all.
mastery of knowledge and skills
By digging deeply into compelling topics related to human rights and changing populations, students have learned to apply critical thinking, communication, and literacy skills to complete real work that matters. The skills they learn impact their work in increasingly sophisticated contexts, both within and beyond a school year. 4th graders develop the skills needed to be able to read complex texts and compose writing pieces for short tasks, long-term projects, and a variety of assessments.
4th graders volunteered at the Mango House, sorting donations, cleaning, and spending time with new families that were making Denver their new home.
Fieldwork and Experts
Students learn from fieldwork and experts to deepen their knowledge and make connections to their work. Students visited museums, historical sites, and spoke to experts to gain firsthand knowledge of changing populations in Colorado. Fieldwork and experts helped ensure accuracy, quality, and integrity in their work.
Students payed attention to detail, beauty, and accuracy to create a book detailing their learning and reflections. Using feedback from teachers and peers students completed multiple drafts in an effort to create a book that would inspire conversation and shared understanding of the importance of building connections and bridging resources in their community.
Students informed their community about the UDHR and the importance of advocating for human rights for all. In addition to literacy standards, student develop their ability to speak and present their learning to an authentic audience. They learn that that words matter and that their voice has the power to change the world.