September 14, 2015

Dear Division 16,

Welcome to your first “reflections” blog homework assignment.  Please review the criteria before you begin writing.

For this assignment, please take a look at the image below and think about what this quote means.  Anne Frank was a young Jewish woman who went into hiding during the Second World War in the Netherlands.

AF quote

Anne Frank’s diary was published after the end of the war, and has become a famous book, read by students and adults the world over.  Anne’s story is one of courage, hope and perseverance through very difficult times.

You can read more about Anne’s life here.

For your homework, please respond by commenting below about the quote in the picture and answer ONE or more of the following question:

  1. What does this quote mean to you?  How can this quote help us to contribute to a better world?
  2. Give an example of an action or change that you have personally made to “improve the world”.  This improvement can be large or small, personal or global.  Make sure you provide enough information that readers can understand your actions
  3. Think about the life of Anne Frank.  How do you understand this quote in the context of Anne’s circumstances.

You will need at least two sentences and likely more in order to explain your answer fully. Proofread before you post to check for spelling and punctuation.  Make sure you have fully answered your chosen question and that your answer makes sense.

I look forward to your responses!



  1. dancing porcupine

    #1 I think that this quote means that even if you are the only person trying to you can make the world a better place even by doing the smallest thing. I think that this quote can remind people that anyone can make a positive change in the world no matter who you are. This reminds me of a quote from one of the wall projects from last year. The quote is “Every individual doing even the smallest thing can make a positive change in the world”

    • dickensdiv16

      Dancing Porcupine, you’ve made a great connection to the Wall Projects from last year! You’re right, each time we take a step on our own or together towards a better world, it makes a difference. Small things add up to big things when we are committed and connected!

  2. Sr.Fruitcake

    #1 I think that Anne Frank’s quote is an amazing idea that not a lot of people even think about, let alone in her circumstances. Anne Frank’s quote can help us learn about ourselves and others and I think could help us make the world better by telling us that even she, as dire as her circumstances were, could be optimistic. And that even if things didn’t turn out so good for her she did change the world he way she said.

    • dickensdiv16

      Sr, Fruitcake, you’ve made an excellent point here thinking about the impact our own mindset can have on ourselves and those close to us in addition to the larger world. What a difference Anne’s optimism and belief in herself and her family must have made on those dark nights. I think you’re right as well that supporting our relationships with others are important aspects of creating the kind of world we want to live in!

  3. smeagaleater10

    #1 To me this quote means…
    as soon as you commit yourself to making the world a better place big or small you make the world a healthier place. You could donate a little to the food bank and save someone’s life, or you could donate a lot of food and save multiple people lives. Those people can make a difference too. It all makes a difference!!!!!

    • dickensdiv16

      Smeagaleater, your response is right on! Each person must contribute what they can. While we would all like to take a big step and save lives or end hunger, this is not something that is always possible. Making that commitment is the first and very important step in creating change!

  4. TechNerd

    #1 this quote means to me Anybody can make a Change in the world No matter how big or small it is, It makes a difference and that is one step to a better world. If everyone in the World read this quote and Understood it not just that but contributed their part and made a small or big change The world will be a way better place for Everyone.

  5. The Bean

    #1 For me this quote sort of represents the idea that everyone always making some form of change in the world, it might not actually affect the whole world but it still makes a difference. Even just bringing ideas or a new perspective can make a change in something, whether it’s an entire country or just your community. Anne Frank probably didn’t know how big an affect her store would have on the world so if you can try hard to make the best out of things like she said, yo can make a change.

    • dickensdiv16

      The Bean, I really like the idea that ideas and perspective can contribute to a better world. Not all world changes are physical, and many of the most significant changes are brought about by simply looking at things differently, or with a more caring or empathetic eye.

  6. vid3o g@mer

    1# What this means to me is that there is nothing stopping you from pushing forth your idea. It is basically saying: Go ahead and make your idea come true. If you have a idea, go on ahead! Make it come true. And once you finished your idea, you can see the affect it made.

    • dickensdiv16

      vid3o g@mer, there is nothing stopping you! Ideas are powerful and action is powerful and I feel confident when I read the blog posts from our students that you will all go on to inspire the world in different and beautiful ways.

  7. baconguy

    #1. To me, the quote means people anybody can change the world, no matter how old they are, where they live, there race, ect. The quote can change the world by inspiring different people around the world to do and say amazing things that could change the world.

    • dickensdiv16

      baconguy, thank you for bringing the idea of different people’s identities to this discussion. You’re right – we all have ways that we can make a difference, and it’s important that we recognize the ability of all members of our world to contribute. Things like the internet have made it easier to share ideas and passions around the world, can you think of other ways we could connect with others and inspire change?

  8. PG dinosaur

    I think this quote means that we don’t have to wait to go out into the world and contribute. For example, just going to protests, showing people you care, and these things only require a small amount of your time, and it’s worth it to contribute to everyone on earth. If everyone knew about this quote, people might start going out to more events to help each other. It’s like in the classroom, if every student puts up one chair, it takes ten seconds. If one person had to do it all by themselves, it would take ten minutes. If everyone learns about Anne Frank, then they would know that she went on living because she always knew that she could make the world a better place, and so can we.

    • dickensdiv16

      PG dinosaur, you’ve given an excellent example here. Sometimes the idea of changing the world or improving an aspect of the world can seem daunting, but in fact, we sometimes just need to be the change we hope to see. Your example of contributing to class cleanup is something we can all relate to. I think you’re probably right that Anne Frank took one small step at a time during her time in the Annex. Great connections and insight!

  9. Crazychickenlover

    I think it means that however small your contribuition to the world is, it still makes a diffrence in the world.
    No matter how small or how big it is it will still affect a way in the world. I also think that it means that she is grateful that people dont need to wait before they start to change the world in a good way. It means to me that every small detail 0f a good thing will help improve us, and help us know that even whoever is reading this is doing a good thing

    • dickensdiv16

      Crazychickenlover, you’ve mentioned something very important in this quote that hasn’t been brought up yet – the hope in Anne’s statement that change doesn’t need to wait. Each day is a new day, and brings new opportunities for change. I like your last sentence – I take it to mean that being inspired can make a difference!

  10. xaxo6 04

    I think this quote will help our lives and the lives of others because like she said we don’t have to wait. The world is doing the waiting, you can change the world as much as Anne did.

    • dickensdiv16

      xaxo604 I see you’ve also zoned in on the concept of not waiting, and I really like the way you framed it as the world waiting. I agree with you that each of us can make a change and I really hope that with our actions and how we live our lives, we can also inspire future generations!

  11. The Baconator

    what I do to improve the world is compost and recycle. It helps the world because if everyone composts and recycles there wouldn’t be as much garbage. You can also give to other people, you could recycle and help someone at the same time!
    If everyone composts and recycles the world would be much happier!!!!!!

    • dickensdiv16

      Baconator, this is a great response! You’ve really focused in on something practical and important that each person can do. In our own way, we each can inspire others, who in turn, inspire others still!

  12. Rouge

    #1 I think that the Anne Frank quote is really inspiring and empowering to everyone including myself. I think that we can follow the quotes message by doing small things like planting a tree or big things like writing letters to the government or participating in protests. You can change the world every day in your own way.
    #2 One thing I have done to make the world a better place was that I sent multiple letters to Seaworld and the Vancouver Aquarium. My goal is to free the whales in all aquariums. Ever since I watched “Blackfish” I have been really opposed to aquariums and I have been intrigued to learn more about how to free the whales.

    • dickensdiv16

      Rouge, this is a really thoughtful response. I’m so glad that you connected to it! I had the same reaction when I first saw it. I love your examples of big and small actions that can be taken, they are each good examples of actions today that may benefit the world of the future.
      I feel inspired by your actions writing letters to SeaWorld and the Vancouver Aquarium. I’m so glad you shared this with the class here so that others might be inspired by your actions. Sometimes it’s discovering your passion that helps a person focus their actions!

  13. Arctic owl

    1# i think Anne franks quote is very inspiring we always think about the small problems happening in are lives that we hardly ever see the big problems happening all around us

    • dickensdiv16

      Arctic Owl, this is a very important perspective that you’ve represented here! I really appreciate you raising the idea that we can sometimes lose focus on the big issues. I wonder how we can stay focused, even in challenging times…?

  14. den10@sea43

    I think that it is amazing that she would say that when world war II is going on because it was very frighting and it was true back then because people where trying to stop hitler and the war. and I agree with arctic owl. #2
    what I have done was I have had a bake sale to raise money for tigers when I was learning about them and how endangered they are.

    • dickensdiv16

      You’re right, den10@sea43, it is incredible that Anne Frank was able to maintain her optimism and hope given her family’s circumstances. I think it’s really cool that you organized around an endangered species. I remember that work and I think you and your friends raised awareness among your classmates in addition to raising money. Reading your post, I’m making a connection with Rouge and the Baconator’s posts where their commitment to a topic really helped them connect with actions!

  15. Amethyst

    #1 I think no matter who you are and how old you are you can still make a difference in the world. I also think that this quote was very inspirational. Anybody can make a difference but not everyone does.

    • dickensdiv16

      What you’re saying is true, Amethyst! Our ability to make the world reflect our values and our goals never stops! Some of my greatest inspirations are the very young and those who mentored me as elders. What do you think inspires someone to make a difference?

      • Amythest

        You might be inspired by someone who you look up to like a teacher, your family or your friends. Maybe if you see others doing something to make a difference. That could be picking up garbage, standing up for others or adopting a pet, not shopping for them.

  16. Crazymemeslol123

    #1 I think this is about how you can change the world by just doings get something good to another people like being nice and maybe helping them too

    • dickensdiv16

      Crazymemeslol123, you’re right! Reaching out to other people and being kind are important ways to start building relationships and that helps make a difference all throughout the world!

  17. the DUDE

    What this quote means to me: My dad is Buddhist, and this reminds me of one of the things the Dalai Lama believes. This is that everyone has basic goodness inside them. If you really unleash this basic goodness, then you can change the world. We are humans – we have feelings and brains, and we have so many other abilities than other animals. We just sometimes forget that. So that quote means that it only takes a small step to change the world and make such an impact. Take Albert Einstein, for instance. He changed our way of thinking and he had so many problems with his brain. He had dyslexia, autism, and he was bi-polar, but he changed our way of thinking because all of those things just made him smarter. He even made a phrase – when people call you “Einstein” nowadays, they are being sarcastic. The point that I am getting at is that Einstein changed the world despite all his problems, and this is inspirational, just like Anne Frank.

    • dickensdiv16

      the Dude, thank you for taking the time to answer so thoroughly. You’ve made some important connections here to your own life and our historical understanding of people’s differences. We do have so much potential, no matter who we are!

  18. THEMANGO404

    Answer to question#1: If you work on composting and recycling as much as you can, There will be less garbage in the world and seas.
    Answer to question #2: I donated money to UNICEF for anti malaria sleeping nets and for 25 nut food bars for younger children.

    • dickensdiv16

      THEMANGO404, you’ve connected some important ideas here. You’ve mentioned both local and global efforts to make a difference in the world, both of which are necessary in how we see ourselves making change. How did you learn about the UNICEF project?

  19. Iron lantern

    Anne frank is hoping that somday people will change the world so
    It will become a better place.I have helped change the world
    By making sure I turn off all the lights in my house before
    I go to sleep.

    • dickensdiv16

      This is a great idea that everyone can do, Iron Lantern! It’s really important to see the things in our everyday lives that, when taken together, can really make a big difference!

  20. Panda Tush

    I love Anne Frank. She is so inspirational, and she always tried to stay positive at such horrific times. To me, the quote told me that anyone can make the world a better place. No matter who the person is, the smallest change can make a ginormous difference.

    • dickensdiv16

      Panda, I agree with both you and Anne that anyone can make a difference. Anne’s diary reflects her efforts to be resilient and to keep building relationships with her family. Imagine how hard it was to keep hopeful day after day in close quarters with the constant fear of discovery. She has a lot to teach us.

  21. Koshka2

    A world will change, A world will be Happy.
    This is a better place for the world to be in right now.
    I have help change the world, everyone has help change the world.
    What this mean to me is that Anna said this quote for a reason to help change the world and to change everyone else life.

  22. Purple Pickle

    I think this quote is very sad because I think it’s out of ann franks hope that something or someone to come save her. #1 I think this quote can help us contribute to a better word because it could get bad people like robbers to think that their doing the wrong thing and they could actually help the world instead of making it worse.

    • dickensdiv16

      Interesting, Purple Pickle. You always bring such a unique perspective to our “Reflections”. I like the position you’ve taken that truth and hope can be a powerful force for change. I wonder if people around the world who are struggling are just waiting for an inspiration that speaks to them. Thank you for this brave response.

  23. Joaquin

    I think that this quote means you do not have to wait for some one to do what you can do to make the world a better place. And if this quote inspired people to see themselves as part of the change then maybe we can change the world together.

    • dickensdiv16

      Joaquin, your post touches on the very important idea that we are all capable of change, but that by working together, we can be even more effective. You’ve brought a unique interpretation to Anne’s quote here, and I appreciate you taking this risk. Sometimes it takes the most courage to take the first step, and when others see that courage they will join you.

  24. Don't Let The Muggles Get You Down

    #2 I think that I make change by donating and helping causes in ways that I can. Here are some examples; by donating food to the Food Bank when student council has a food drive, also by donating socks to the sock drive. Like we had last winter. Or by buying baked goods from the other classes when they have bake sales.

    • dickensdiv16

      DLTMGYD, thank you for bringing up the point that we all do what we can. I like how you described your actions in the context of our school efforts. It’s great to belong to a community that is always trying to notice and respond to the needs of the people around us! (Thank you for your perseverance in getting this posted!)

  25. SoccerBoyABC123

    3# Anne Frank had a very hard and harsh life she had to do things that risked her life and i think she had a lot of courage to do what she did . she changed the world because she didn’t want to live like this anymore and she didn’t want anyone to live in this kind of environment. I think it means that you don’t have to wait till your 20 to change the world you can start to change the world whenever you want to .

    • dickensdiv16

      SoccerBoy, thank you for reminding us of the context of Anne’s life. I like how you showed that our hopes for ourselves and our hopes for the world are sometimes intertwined. I agree that no one has to wait until they are 20, that some of my greatest inspiration comes from youth and their passions!

  26. Ginger

    This quote means a lot to me, and knowing that Anne Frank wrote it, its importance doubles. I understand this quote from two different points of view, depending on the exact year it was written. If she wrote this quote in 1943 or earlier (early in the war), she may have been thinking “how wonderful it is that the allied soldiers haven’t waited a single moment before starting to improve the world”. If the quote was written in 1944 or 1945 (while she was in hiding), she might have been thinking “I can’t wait for this war to end so that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world”. Sadly, Anne didn’t live to see this happen, but she has left this quote so that, hopefully, we can finish what she hoped to start.

    • dickensdiv16

      Ginger, I was thinking of you when I created this assignment because I know that you feel a strong connection to Anne and her struggles as well as her courage. You`ve taken this opportunity to really effectively engage with Anne`s life and the legacy she`s left us through her journal. You`ve pointed out the importance of understanding context when we read people`s writing or opinions, especially ones (like Anne`s) that weren`t necessarily meant for an audience. I agree with you that it`s difficult for those of us who were not personally affected by the Holocaust to understand Anne`s words, but I believe that we can still find inspiration in her words. Excellent work!

  27. Shadow145

    2# The quote makes me feel like helping to change the world to make it a better place by donating food, clothing, furniture that you don’t need anymore and donating to charitys and by building homes for people that sleep on the streets because they don’t have enough money to afford a home.

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