Reflection: Complex Tasks Create Your Own Utopia (Day 1 of 2) - Section 3: Create Your Own Utopia Group Work and Poster Creation


Listening to my students' conversations today was very entertaining. They tend to do really well with these kinds of activities, where they are creatively and collaboratively engaged in figuring out the answer to a question or a problem that doesn't have one set answer.

The group I found most interesting was made up of three boys and a girl. One of the boys thought it was a really good idea for their society to ban clothing of all kinds. His reasoning was a little hazy (or he was too embarrassed to share his real thinking =)), but what was fascinating to watch was how the other members of his group logically deconstructed why his idea was no good. The girl, in particular, argued that while he might want to see some people naked, there are a whole lot of other people that would terrible to look at. She said that she understood the idea of equality through the forcible removal of clothing as a status symbol, but wondered, out loud, what the unintended consequences of that would be. 

There was a great deal of laughter to accompany the high level thinking in this and other conversations that I heard. While they ended up spending nearly all their time negotiating the answers to the questions and categories, which means I will have to make time for their poster creation on Monday, their group work far exceeded my expectations and I was really pleased to see them meeting a standard (SL.9-10.1b) that we have worked on a couple times over the course of this year. 

  Grappling with Peers on Complex Tasks
  Complex Tasks: Grappling with Peers on Complex Tasks
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Create Your Own Utopia (Day 1 of 2)

Unit 14: Literary: Dystopian Fiction Literature Circles
Lesson 1 of 13

Objective: SWBAT work with peers to set rules for collegial discussions and decision making by working collaboratively to create a utopian society.

Big Idea: To understand dystopia, we must first understand the idealism of utopia.

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