Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Following Through...

I posted earlier this year that my students were working on philosophy books with the goal of making personal and meaningful connections to the units we've studied in class. I took a "constructivist" approach and allowed them to design their own projects to fit their individual methods of learning and making meaning. In class yesterday they presented their philosophy books, and I was both blown away and humbled by their talent. Moreover, their presentations gave me sense of what part of each unit they had connected with, reminding me that what I find important is not necessarily what's going to captivate them (no matter how passionately I present it). For The Crucible, for example, one of my students composed a song about loving someone you can't have. As she sang this and played her guitar, I realized that I had dismissed this facet of the play altogether; I have always seen Abigail as a wicked manipulator of power, not a lovesick teenage girl. Viewing her as a victim gives my students something to relate to and gives me a new perspective on a play that I've read one too many times. I need to get more specific feedback from my students, but the general consensus so far seems to be that they've enjoyed this project. It's also helped me get to know them a little better, which is always an honor.


Blogger jasonm said...

Yeah, and the opera was pretty awesome too.
Oops, I'm on an english teachers blog, what I meant to say was;
That operatic exhibition was an awe inspiring spectacle.
As were all the performance pieces, they were very polished. As well as the two artistic (Would Dougs faux collage count as artistic? I think so) were very nicely done as well. Sorry Doug, but I got to give "props" to Mackenzei moreso than you, due to the fact that hers was hand drawn.

Long story short, we need more of these philosophy books for next semster.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Karl Fisch said...

I agree with JM - it sounds like it was awesome.

I'm wondering if there are any of their projects that you could share with our class during our "show and tell" next week? If you think there are, you might ask some of your students if they would be willing to share . . .

8:03 PM  
Blogger Davis said...

I hope we hear more about this and have you showcase their work. Bravo maestro!

11:06 AM  

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