The BIG Project

I promised the details of my seniors’ final eportfolios and here they are! I titled this “The BIG Project” (for lack of better words). Essentially, the goal of this project was to have students writing in multiple forms while also reflecting on the reader/writer they are today and how they have become that way. Though at first, I’ll be honest, introducing an end of the year project to seniors did not go over too well. Seniors + end of the year projects = are you crazy? However, I told them that this was their opportunity to truly dig deep and show what they had learned as well as what they had learned about themselves too.

Another thing that came about with this project is the ability to pick tools that 1) get your point across the way you want it and that 2) you find convenient to use. I wanted my students to be able to pick and choose what they felt would work best, try new “things,” etc. I’m not going to be there next year to tell them, “Hey, go to this website…” They’ve got to be able to find resources that work for each of them based on their need and purpose.

And the end results? Despite the complaining, last minute preps, and frustrations their projects overall were awesome! I am adding some of their work to our gallery for the National Day on Writing, and I really am very proud of all of their hard work!

Here’s the break down of this multi-genre project:

1. Write a one-page (single spaced, MLA format if needed) essay about what you have learned this year in English and how you feel it will be beneficial to you in your future endeavors (from college to the “real” world).

*Personal note: a lot of kids really said that this was one of the best English classes they had ever had (and English wasn’t one of their favorite classes). Sorta makes you realize just how powerful your role as an educator truly is!

2. Create a “This I Believe” podcast (using podbean.com, audacity, or other source). Your TIB podcast will reflect your thoughts on reading/writing and why they are important. Your podcast must be 2 minutes long.

*Personal note: I thought it was interesting that one student said not everyone needed to read/write (ex. a fast food worker) and another student in class said that she worked in one and was always reading/writing. Food for thought for all.

3. Create a digital literacy narrative (using Windows Movie Maker, iMovie, Premiere, Animoto, Flip video, or other source). Your narrative must showcase how you became the reader/writer you are today. In other words, look back on when you were a child and lead up to today. The video should be at least 3 minutes, and if you include photos, they must all be original (in other words, no images are to be pulled from the internet!).

*Personal note: I didn’t think anyone would use a flip camera, but several did and their narratives turned out great! Definitely reminds me to incorporate flips in more activities we do as every time we have used them, kids really enjoyed being “producers” of their own films.

4. Create a 6 word memoir about who you are. Your memoir text will be posted on an image you take (using picnik.com, glogster, or other source). Think: both your words and image will be a strong representation of you.

*Personal note: So many amazing examples. Wow.

5. Create a “recipe for success.” You can be creative here…type it directly into your livebinder page, on a word document, through glogster, in a rap, with Flip video…whatever medium best gets your recipe for success across.

*Personal note: The students’ responses were very personal, and I saw a new side to many kids.

6. Present a speech (pecha-kucha style) chronicling your tenure here at the school. Be sure to check out www.pecha-kucha.org for more information on your presentation. All images used in your presentation will be original (in other words, no images are to be pulled from the internet!). Your presentation needs to be 3 minutes long.

*Personal note: Students found this VERY challenging. I like this format at this point in the semester because it does challenge students, and they are able to use all of their public speaking knowledge they have gained this year and apply it. Students typically HATE speaking in front of classmates…I’m working to break this trend.

7. During your presentation, I will record you with a Flip. I will then place the video on the T drive on the school’s network. You will need to take the video, embed it into your livebinder, and write a brief response about your public speaking skills.

*Personal note: Very helpful to record so that students can see what they did well and what they need to work on for next time…whether next time is in their freshmen English course, chemistry lab, or around a business table giving a proposal.

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