the Greek projects my students have brought in to create our Greece Museum for Open House. They are AMAZING! I need to take pictures and post the projects. Many took an idea on paper, talked to me and negotiated changes (isn’t that a good thing to learn to do!), and created some of the most wonderful, imaginative, cool and creative objects.
- G made a Trojan Horse from Styrofoam and cardboard which LOOKS like wood with the way she painted it.
- S, who normally gives me fits, outfitted his Trojan Horse with a hole and put Army Men inside! That was clever.
- A not only created her version of Archimedes Screw, but she also taught and assisted someone having trouble. That means she really got it.
- M made a spear to go with his shield.
- J and C, who should have made their items separately, at least designed their shield using the Greek Flag. That was clever too.
- J made TWO catapults. One with his dad that’s wooden with ADJUSTMENTS and one from Legos. Both are fantastic.
- B, who RARELY, turns in homework, made a catapult. How cool is that?
- Both D and P used dolls to create their Greek clothing. P made a backdrop, gave her a baby in a sling, and she has a name.
- There are many really cool exhibits I didn’t even mention.
Sometimes, in the fight (NCLB and state) to make sure students are “on grade level” we forgot, don’t care or lose sight of the fact that we truly want people who are both knowledgeable and creative problem solvers. It’s another reason why we need MORE special classes, projects, and electives in school and not less.
When my students do really cool and kind things for younger students during our Service Learning time, adults are kind of surprised. It’s PRECISELY during these “non-academic” classes where you can SEE what drives a student. You see that they have skills, kindness, and caring. They just don’t always have it for their families, in the classroom or for each other. They are adolescents, you know.
I could kick myself. I had this museum series of books going back to Mesopotamia. I could have seen their skills, drive, humor, and creativity a long time ago. I would have bonded with them faster and they would have been successful sooner. While book knowledge is important, I’ll bet I would have gotten it earlier had I structured the year differently.
SIGH. Oh well… C’est la vie.
PS On Tuesday we’re going to have a catapult competition to see if BIGGER is BETTER! 8)