Reflection: Joy Creating Identity Beads - Section 2: Getting Messy With Paper Mache


I like to start the year with a fun project, one that may catch students by surprise, and one that has the power to create a lasting memory, a la "Remember when we got to do paper mache in Ms. Beebe's class?"  

The identity bead project has this potential, in that my students were both surprised and pleased that they had a day in English class that felt like play to them.  The activity provided a low-stakes environment that promoted community early in the year, as students were able to mindlessly add layer upon layer of newspaper to their projects, all the while talking and laughing with each other. I even added a soundtrack to the session, playing music from my iTunes library while my students worked.  The atmosphere created an opportunity for me to get to know my students as I would check in on and chat with them while they worked.   

And as final proof that the day was a success?  A snapped photo of the drying beads, resting on their cups, by my student, Alyce, on her way out. "This is going on Instagram!"

  Remember When We Did Paper Mache?
  Joy: Remember When We Did Paper Mache?
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Creating Identity Beads

Unit 2: Literary Analysis: The House on Mango Street
Lesson 3 of 10

Objective: SWBAT to create paper mache "beads" in class in order to design and decorate in ways that represent their identities and worlds they come from.

Big Idea: "Tell one big story, each story contributing to the whole—like beads in a necklace.” -Sandra Cisneros

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stones and beads 1
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