Checking In

I can’t believe it’s been over a week since students pitched their ideas! In that time we’ve had some days off (yay for snow day give-backs!), talked about Serial, and continued to read Gregory Maguire’s Wicked.

Not only are the kids killing it with their projects, they’re also doing awesome work with the novel. They’re surprised by the grittiness of Maguire’s Oz, and through an assignment I call “cultural connections,” they’ve made really interesting real-world connections between Oz and their lives. They’ve talked about how the racism and sexism faced by Elphaba mirrors what women face everyday, and talked about how the political unrest of this fictional world can be seen in America’s current election cycle. Their connections are thoughtful, meaningful, and deeply revealing (to me at least) about what their world looks like.

Last week I had a terrific opportunity to co-teach with the photography teacher in my building. He and I put together a lesson using Brandon Stanton (the photographer behind Humans of New York) as a model for visual storytelling. The photo teacher was able to discuss technique with the students, while I helped them to find the narrative in his series of photographs. It was a great cross-curricular opportunity with great results!

On Friday we’ll be working on project “stuff” again – this week their assignment is to develop a social media presence, and then to begin interviewing their subjects. After that we’ll start storyboarding, and then we’re moving right into the storytelling phase! Teachers out there, anyone have favorite apps or websites to help students storyboard?

Starting next week I’ll be featuring a couple of student groups & talking to them about their work – after all, they are my project.

Thanks for sticking with us so far; now the fun can really start!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. K

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