Clawson students share words of thanks before holiday break

 Sixth-grader Lexi Bailey shares her narrative about fishing with her cousin from  Amsterdam. Her English language arts teacher, Michelle Haight, stands  to the side.  Photo by Donna Dalziel

Sixth-grader Lexi Bailey shares her narrative about fishing with her cousin from Amsterdam. Her English language arts teacher, Michelle Haight, stands to the side. Photo by Donna Dalziel

Photo by Donna Dalziel


By: Kara Szymanski | Royal Oak Review | Published November 29, 2017

 During a special English language arts program held at the Blair Memorial Library Nov. 20, Clawson Middle School sixth-grader Molly Graham shares her narrative about the time she made it out alive from a haunted house with her friend.

During a special English language arts program held at the Blair Memorial Library Nov. 20, Clawson Middle School sixth-grader Molly Graham shares her narrative about the time she made it out alive from a haunted house with her friend.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

CLAWSON — Just before the holiday, Clawson Middle School English language arts teacher Michelle A. Haight’s sixth-grade students shared their personal narratives about someone they are thankful for during a special event Nov. 20 at the Blair Memorial Library.

The Clawson Middle School sixth-graders wrote descriptive stories that detailed why they were thankful.

The English language arts community sharing event gave students the opportunity to present their writing and showcase their work in front of their friends, family and community members.

This is the fourth year Haight has organized the special event for her students. 

“I challenge the students to step out of their comfort zone and provide them the tools, and they respond by sharing a piece of themselves with the community. There are a wide range of writers, and each and every one of them gains confidence and a sense of fearlessness after sharing their stories with the community,” said Haight.

Seventeen students participated this year — an increase compared to years before. Some students decided to participate moments before the event started.

Student Alec McClure shared the details of how thankful he was to adopt his new cat recently.

“I’m thankful for my cat, Vito, my mom and dad let us adopt from Petco, and hope we get to have more nice times with him,” he said.

Student Madison Kosmowski said this year, she is thankful for successfully learning how to do a twist cradle at cheer practice with her friends. 

“I learned to never doubt something you haven’t tried,” she said.

Student Lexi Bailey remembered how thankful she was when her cousin, Faye, came to visit from Amsterdam this past summer, and the boat trip adventure they shared.

“As a teacher, it’s a great feeling seeing how happy they are after they take the risk and share their creativity with the community around them. You can see it clearly on their faces,” said Haight.

Student Nickolas Kelley said he was most thankful for the fishing trip he got to go on with his parents and his friend, Gabe.

Student Molly Graham got into her presentation and laughed as she remembered the time she was thankful for with her friend, Cailin, at a haunted house.

“I’m thankful I made it out alive from the haunted house and that my friend Cailin was there with me. I learned I will probably never go in a haunted house again,” she said.

Other stories included a visit to an aunt’s house, a cat found stuck inside a car, a rollercoaster scare and a fall festival with family.

Haight said many of the students use this project to build their skills, and this project pushes them to accomplish something they didn’t know they were capable of and to not second-guess taking risks when writing.

She said she hopes to be able to provide this kind of experience for her sixth-grade students again next year.