My hope for students in English 10 is that as they practice reading, writing, thinking, listening, and speaking, they engage with their learning in personal ways. Therefore, my culminating assessment is a very open-ended prompt requiring students to choose something that interested them from English class this semester, explore it further through research and/or creativity, connect it to a biblical theme or principle, make a specific action plan for how working with this idea will make a difference in their life, and present the outcome to the class.
For the past 3 days, I’ve been watching these presentations. Here’s what I’ve seen:
- Lessons on greed, ambition, contentment, identity, infatuation, love.
- Connections to Daniel Beatty’s Def Poetry performance “Knock, Knock,” Ishigaki Rin’s “The Pan, the Pot, the Fire I Have Before Me,” Leo Tolstoy’s “How Much Land Does a Man Need?”, Franz Kafka’s “The Bucket Rider,” Haruki Murakami’s After Dark, Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
- Research on brain chemicals, introverts and leadership, Shakespeare’s symbolic use of the forest, the recent ferry disaster in South Korea.
- Creative expression in posters, drawings, models, short stories, a poem, a museum tour, 2 Web pages (identity and greed), and very memorably, a one-man sock puppet show involving interaction among several characters from different works of literature as well as the puppet master himself.
- Determinations to focus on the blessings one has, to choose the smaller piece of cake, to be kind to family members, to pay more attention to a girl’s character than to her appearance, to practice wise use of money.
One delightful project I want to share here was a children’s book on “What Is Love?” The student said she wanted to try to express this complex topic in a simple way. I think she succeeded brilliantly. How about you?
|When my dad works until late at night to support the family. That's love.|
|When my mom listens to my endless stories about school and gives me advice. That's love.|
|When someone stops to help pick up papers that I dropped in the hallways. That's love.|
|When my friends push me to do things outside of my comfort zone because they know I can do it. That's love.|
|When Mrs. Essenburg makes us do 10 corrections on our essays because she knows that's how we'll learn. That's love.|
|When Hermia and Lysander were willing to run away to get married. That's love.|
|When Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. That's the greatest love of all.|