Thursday, May 22, 2008

Working in Ancient Egypt

Every now and then when you get to the end of the day and you ask yourself, what did I achieve today, there is a feeling of quiet satisfaction that you might have actually made a difference. Today was one of those days when I feel like I actually might have made a difference to a fellow teacher's practice. I have been working in the classroom with her for the past two weeks. Her students are working on a Humanities unit and are studying Ancient Egypt. Her original plan was to have the students present their ideas in the traditional project format. You know the one, where they create slabs of text, find pictures on the internet or in a text book and paste it all prettily on a large sheet of cardboard. Not terribly inspiring and somewhat dangerous...I smell slabs of text pasted from the internet in the air.
But a couple of days ago I suggested that perhaps we could come up with another way for the students to gather and present their understandings. And so was born the discoveregypt wiki. Today I sat with her and we worked on developing this new wiki which will see the students work in cooperative groups to gather and present information and ideas around their understandings of Ancient Egypt. I am quietly hopeful that this new idea will ensure a higher level of thinking, of expectation and of collaboration. It's very early days and the students haven't really started working on it yet but over the next 6 weeks or so I hope we will create something that is engaging, valuable and interesting.

1 comment:

Carolyn Foote said...

I love the way you describe how to take an unfolding project and make it more constructivist for students.