My students made craft videos to present the challenges First Nations people faced in BC adapting to a capitalist economy last week. My student teacher Philippa Burn ran the class, but it was a team teaching effort. They are up at our class site here and you can find the project outline and the rubric we used on that site as well. I regularly talk to students about constructing understanding by sharing ideas with others. We talk things through in small groups a lot which takes time and puts pressure on us to complete the curriculum. But I see eyes light up as connections are made that surprise me
The craft video project was done with groups that were chosen by me. I decided to put students together who had demonstrated similar work habits and similar attitudes (emerging philosophies?) to learning. They weren't necessarily friends and one of the explicit goals of the project was to find ways of working with people. One group clearly enjoyed their time together and made a video that was well produced and showed some imagination in their story line, but they missed a couple of important ideas on assimilation. One group was made up of students who did not have great inter-personal skills at the start. They often quarreled one member took regular walks in the hall to let off steam. They did not get done in the time allotted and had to finish their work at lunch. But they produced a video that while it was not as polished as they wanted, it did hit all the important ideas they were tasked to explore.
We showed the final products in class last Thursday. Lots of laughs, and pride was evident in completing a difficult task.
The next time I try this ...
- I will set a seminar time to discuss with students what they have learned and expand on themes. These expanded ideas will then have to be incorporated in the final product.
A problem to be worked out .... two groups have yet to complete this project. They did not use their time well in class and must come in at lunch to make the videos but can't organize themselves to do that. Capable kids who did not completely buy in to this project.