Saturday, September 15, 2012

Maharishi School: American Literature's "Wall of Words"

One of the joys of assigning an independent reading and writing unit is to experience the variety of learning experiences the students have and the variety of responses to literature that the students choose. Below are some examples, including our classroom's "wall of words." (By the way, we are halfway through this learning project.)

Students engage in a variety of responses to their reading, including analyses, creative writing, and visual arts responses.

Students also engage in individual vocabulary activities, finding words from their reading that they want to learn. We use "the wall" for an end-of-class review, randomly choosing words and seeing if the students know them.

Some students respond with visual representations of the books they've read. On the back of the above poster, the student explained the significance of the image to the book.

Above is also a movie trailer that the same student made. This was fun because it engaged a number of students with the creative process over the weekend. I think you'll enjoy the special effects!

The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle

Students have been enjoying drawing cartoons that provide a reaction to the book or illustrate a particular scene in the book. I allow students to read books other than just American literature. One of the main themes of the unit is to encourage the habit of lifelong reading.

Foundation by Isaac Asimov
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Bogey Man by George Plimpton
In addition to responding to books, students are also writing short stories and personal experience pieces. They are too long to include with this article but are certainly fun to read! We will be publishing an anthology of stories this year sometime, spearheaded by the students electing to engage in the Honors component of the class.

I hope you enjoyed our Wall of Words. I think it sets a positive learning tone for the classroom.

Copyright 2012 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved


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