Thursday, July 05, 2007

[TIPS] What Does Literature Say About Human Beings?

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Anne Smith from Arapahoe SD at the NECC conference in Atlanta. I’ve pointed you to her site before ( . While I didn’t get to talk with her as much as I would have liked, I did talk to her long enough for her to suggest that I check out the student work that was done for her final project of the year. I will let you read it as she wrote it so that I don’t misspeak about any part of it.

But, you should see – you NEED to see – the student projects that she has posted there. You need to see them for a couple of reasons. First, they are OUTSTANDING! Second – these are 9th graders! When I see work like this I keep thinking, “My, how we underestimate them.” Third, I LOVE the idea of this assessment – AND of the BIG question that she put forth at the beginning of the year, “What does literature say about human beings?” Fourth, I love how they made this assignment personal. Watch their movies. Listen to them. My, how we underestimate them. Fifth, this is BOUND to give you ideas for other ways that YOU can assess your students. Perhaps, rather than marching them through a multiple choice test, if you give them the opportunity to tell you what the stories mean to them, you will find a MUCH deeper understanding of the stories than you thought.

Check out her rubric, too. As she says, the students worked with her to develop that rubic.

Hats off to Anne and especially to her students whose work is shown here.

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