The Indiana coronavirus stay-at-home order has families sharing close quarters, unable to attend school or take part in many normal springtime activities. Wainwright Middle School teacher Dawn Grinnage is having students journal about their time in quarantine to gain a better understanding of the play Anne Frank. Today’s circumstances are not as extreme as the 450 square feet of attic space Anne and her family hid in for two years, but it is helping students gain a better understanding of the situation and provide an avenue to express their feelings.
“This is creating documentation of what one student was thinking in March and April 2020 during the global pandemic,” says Grinnage. “We are all a part of history now.”
Students are sharing their experiences about going to the store and stocking up on supplies, cancelled field trips, not being in school and how they are occupying their time. They are also going to a deeper level of thinking, answering questions like “What is your number one concern with everything that’s going on right now?” and “What mattered to you a couple days or weeks ago that seems irrelevant now?”
Grinnage recently led an online discussion about the passage from Anne Frank where Otto Frank was trying to keep hopes up and asked everyone what was the first thing they would do after leaving the Secret Annex. “I asked the students what is the first thing they want to do once social distancing restrictions are lifted,” says Grinnage. “Their answers were pretty much the same as Anne's: go back to school, go shopping, see my friends.”