Story Element Project Celebration

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SWBAT celebrate success by presenting their projects to the class.

Big Idea

Art, video, poetry, oh my! Projects reveal text structure and language.


This lesson is not CCSS aligned; rather, it's a day for us to maintain our classroom community and celebrate hard work completed. Days like this help build relationships and anticipation, which both make the harder days of class easier. This day, when students are feeling tired and unmotivated after returning from a long break, is especially needed now and will help us finish the year strong.

Do Now: Prepare to Share

5 minutes

I ask students to prepare to share at the start of class; how will they present their work without simply reading from the text or holding up the art? What's most important for the class to understand? What's the best way to share it?

If I were assessing their presentation skills, I would have asked students to prepare this in advance, but today is about the content of the projects and celebration. I want students to present in logical manner, so they have some planning to do, but it's not a major focus.

Celebrate Success

40 minutes

To celebrate the hard work which went into the varied and interesting projects in the room, students share their work. I ask each student to explain/show their work, and we go right around the room to avoid awkward pauses and unnecessary tension ("Bob" just knows he presents after "Sue" this way--there's no way to avoid it).

It's reaffirming for students to see their peers nodding and smiling, recognition that their work is truly interesting. This small dose of feedback will hold them over until I can assess their projects.

From poetry to websites, essays to films, the projects roll in. I get the pleasure of analyzing each one; here is just a small taste of the work:

The PowerPoint in the resources includes the commentaries which this student wrote to clarify her artwork. There, notice that she used ample textual support for her analysis of text structure and language use.

In other projects, some elements are missing:

  • Several students neglect to mention the setting of The Color Purple, which is critical to our understanding of why Celie was treated as she was by other characters and is important for analysis of RL.3.
  • Several students do not mention the extreme use of simile and metaphor in A Walk Across America and are thus unable to analyze their impact on meaning and tone in the novel (RL.4).
  • A few students do not reference the horrifying start of The Color Purple (probably because it IS so horrifying)--the novel opens with horror for a reason, and it's important to consider it as we analyze Celie as a character (RL.5).