Welcome to The Story Project! Ultimately, this site will be taken over by students who will be telling their own stories, but for now, I’ll be documenting our journey as my students get ready to take the lead.
The goal is to hit all seven of the qualities of a “Gold Standard PBL” through this project, and in so doing, develop not only knowledge, understanding and success skills, but also engender real engagement, and excitement about learning. As a teacher, I’m pretty new to the world of PBLs – it’s only my second attempt (more on that first attempt later), and so I’m hoping that this blog will serve dual purposes: to showcase student work in an authentic, public way, and also, to serve as a way of encouraging other teachers to try this type of teaching and learning.
I’ll share more resources over the next few weeks, but the Buck Institute for Education (BIE) is a great place to start your research!
The basics of what the students will be doing are this: they’re reading and learning about postmodern and post-colonial literature. In our discussion of “the other” and repressed voices, we’ll be reading Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (a prequel of sorts to Jane Eyre, from the vantage point of Bertha, the mad wife in the attic), and Wicked by Gregory Maguire (The Wizard of Oz from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West). We also incorporate non-fiction into our study with Sarah Koenig’s podcast, Serial. Since our study spans multiple media (novels, podcasts, and eventually blogs and videos as well), we are also going to be assessing the relationship between form and function. Ultimately, students will find their own story to tell – an “other” to which they feel personally attached – and find the best medium through which to tell that story.
Right now, the students know nothing about this – they’ve just begun learning about the necessary background they’ll need to fully contextualize Wide Sargasso Sea. But within two weeks’ time, they’ll become a key part of what I’m doing here, and so will you! My dream is that one of the stories they choose to tell (or maybe even more than one) will “go viral” – until then, I’ll share a preview of what that project looks like: the story project.
Wish us luck!