fourth graders of room 15 completed the reading of Number the Stars
by Lois Lowry, we came across a quote from a Danish Resistance Fighter
from World War II named Kim Malthe-Bruun. He was captured and was to be
put to death at only twenty-one years of age. The night before he was
to be put to death, he wrote a letter to his mother, and in that
letter, he challenged the people of the world to “ . . . create an
ideal of human decency and not a narrow-minded and prejudiced one.” He
continued to indicate that everyone, no matter who they are in the
world, can not only contribute toward that ideal but can feel a part of
attaining that ideal.
The kids of room 15 took that challenge on with great devotion. Our aim was to create an ideal of human decency within our classroom, and then work outward from there. We would not let Kim Malthe-Bruun’s call for the world to be decent go unnoticed.
After our environmental education field trip in April, the students decided that there needed to be human decency toward our environment as well as toward one another. The thought of a website was born on through those days in April.
This website is our effort to contribute to what Kim Malthe-Bruun called for, the ideal of human decency. As we brainstormed topics for our site, the fourth graders realized that we had categories of social human decency and environmental human decency. The students selected what topic they would like to explore, the research began and our work to help promote human decency took flight.
The fourth graders of room 15 present five topics of human decency: promoting peace, being rid of discrimination, human decency toward our oceans and forests, and decency toward the resources we have in the world. Below are the definitions for each category written by the fourth graders as well as a link to the webpages they have created.
Human decency is showing kindness to others in need. Being kind to enemies is human decency. Showing care to the homeless and disabled is showing human decency. Even the act of saying hello to a person in the morning impacts the world. Each thing anyone ever does that is kind helps achieve a peaceful world. Everyone has the ability to be kind, and that ability being used is human decency.
Human decency is the kindness to someone else of a different race, gender or culture.
Our definition of human decency for forests is people not cutting down forests and respecting our forests. Forests can give us humans learning experiences, and the chance to have a better life. In the wild, forests give shelters and food. Human decency is respecting and not harming our forests.
When every living creature treats each other equally, or when every part of the world gets an even amount of attention and care, we have human decency. They protect each other and help one another in any problem or obstacle, and that includes the oceans.
Wasting resources is hurting lives by throwing away food that homeless people aren’t getting but that they need. By digging up all the resources we use and wasting them, we are harming the environment. Help us conserve our resources and our environment, and we will have human decency.
We promote human decency every day in our classroom and community.