(Note: This was for a Grade 8 class - so most students are age 13)
A while ago I mentioned an activity I did at the National Museum of Art during the Project Zero Conference last October. This activity really stayed with me, and I was luckily able to adapt it for my current curriculum. As part of our computer science unit, students are thinking about how technology can help us solve water problems. I was able to do this with my class, as well as the other Grade 8 class.
Here is the presentation I used in class. Feel free to make a copy and adapt it for your own lessons.
Students arrived to class to see the following prompt on the screen, along with some jazz music playing in the background! On five tables were large pieces of flip chart paper, each with a different prompt:
After students move around the room, I got them all to park themselves as a table, and we shared out and discussed the responses.
I then gave each table a color print out of 1/4 of the painting"Manifest Destiny" by Alexis Rockman, (though I did not give them the title, artist or any other details - apart from the size!). They also had a new piece of flip chart paper, with "See, Think, Wonder" at the top. I told them to start off by writing down everything they can see, followed by their assumptions, then lastly their questions.
While they were doing this, I walked around and asked them about their thoughts, giving them more questions and celebrating the ideas they were coming up with. After they complete this, all students shared out their thoughts with the rest of the group, while passing around the print outs of their 1/4. Only after we had spent time on this discussion did we look at the image as a whole.
We looked at the image in detail, by using the Google Cultural Institute website, which let us zoom in on different sections to see it in more detail.
After this I shared out a little more about the image, including the title, where it is set (New York), that it features the Brooklyn Bridge and that the artist was inspired by Dioramas he had seen at the Museum of Natural History.
After this we looked at more work by the artist, looking for similarities in the layout, theme, content, and we tried to uncover the messages, (most are also about climate change, but one is about GM food)
At the end I looped back around, asking them to remind me of their definition of propaganda, then if they thought this was propaganda, and finally would they use propaganda to promote their water problem. Throughout the session I told them that their are no wrong or right answers. I was overwhelmed with the thoughtfulness of their responses, as well as how articulate they were!
At the start of the next class they filled in a Google Form, with the following questions and resources.
(We watched this at the beginning of our unit. Students knew it was made by Greenpeace, to raise awareness that Lego was working with Shell, and the damage shell was causing our oceans. They also knew that straight after this video was released, Lego stopped working with Shell.)
The next page of the form including images from some of the presentations they had made earlier in the unit!
Through doing the different thinking routines in class, then giving them open questions, which were really focussed on opinions, instead of just knowledge, I was able to get really thoughtful, rich answers from the students. Below you can see their responses to the activities in class and from the Google Form:
I will share the presentation above with the classes, so they can see the thoughts and ideas of their peers too.
The last part of the Google Form has questions about the teaching strategies. Here their responses:
I am really enjoying teaching this unit - although it was part of a computer science course, it was very interdisciplinary. I was able to use my background as an MYP Design teacher to help me plan the lessons. I will continue to use thinking routines with photographs and artworks in my classes, because they allow for 100% participation, and really bring out excellent ideas. I also will build in more opportunity for regular feedback, as it helps me to improve my practice.
If you liked this activity you may want to look at similar activities I have created:
I recently posted about an upcoming session I have with my Grade 10s. The focus is on helping them understand how their process journal supports the report. They will watch a music video, then imagine all the information that would be in the process journal if that had been a Personal Project. I am keeping the session completely the same, BUT have updated the checklist, so that it goes criterion by criterion, strand by strand. It also works as a checklist for the whole project, instead of just where my group are up to (Criterion A, B and some of C). This means that students who are further ahead can move on. It also means they can use this document for the rest of the year.
Here is a link to my new Process Journal Checklist!
If you want to use it, go to 'File' then 'Make a Copy'. You can then adapt it to suit your students.
A few screenshots:
Check out this amazing, student initiated, STEAM competition for girls!
Take a look at the website to see how easy it is to enter. This is for girls age 11-18. They simply need to submit a scientific report, which describes their STEAM area of interest, and their innovative solution. Awards will be given based on creativity, innovation and communication.
Find out more here.
I am the Personal Project Coordinator at my school. This is one of my favorite things about the MYP, so definitely something I love about my job. I am also always happy to share what we do in my school with other educators...
In just over a week Grade 10 will be spending the first of two afternoons in our auditorium, (the second session is next year, when they have a Report workshop). The focus on this is making sure that all students are up to date, have all the information they need in their Process Journal and so that they understand how the Process Journal informs the report.
Students will work through this checklist (they should have evidence in their process journals for Criterion A and B). However, before they just work freely on this, they will do some activities as a group...focussed on an OK GO Music Video!
In the presentation they imagine that the video for "That One Moment" was a Personal Project. They reflect the Approaches to Learning they band would have demonstrated, and what they think would appear in the Process Journal. After watching both the music video and the 'making of video' we go together through strand by strand (we stop in the middle, but I have the slides that go all the way through to Criterion D. iii). Hopefully throughout this process they will think of the similarities with their own projects.
I've made a video for other teachers / Personal Project Coordinators to explain the session in a little more depth. You can also find the presentation here (you can click 'file' then 'make a copy' to have your own, which you can adapt for your school's needs).
I recently shared an IB Learner Profile self-assessment form with you (here). One of our wonderful teachers and head of Grade 7, Jason Simons, gathered some feedback from some students. They said that the older students would just skip through this quickly, giving themselves 5 for every one. They said they would be more invested, if they only saw the description, and they did not know the attribute (though hopefully they would be able to figure it out!).
SO....we made a Google Form where the first page just had the description, and a space for them to assess themselves from one to five, then on the second page (which they can only access after they have finished the first page), had the descriptions (IB Learner Profile Poster), and a space for reflection.
Fill it in yourself - I'll send you your results.
If you already have a copy of the Google Form, you can easily make yourself this version. If you are really stuck, then comment with your email (make sure you put it in the 'comment' field, as I can't see the email box results), and I can make you a copy.