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Showing Stephanie Reid

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First Place

6-8 | Reading & Language Arts | Student-created media projects

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My Classroom Innovation

The project I have showcased in this entry is part of my Holocaust-themed reading and writing unit. My objectives are: building background knowledge of the Holocaust; analyzing poetry; synthesizing and communicating ideas; empathizing with others. Students first learn about the experience of children during the Holocaust, and they are then introduced to a number of poems written by children imprisoned in the Terezin concentration camp. Each small group is first asked to choose one or two of the poems. They read and discuss their selected poems carefully. Each group then designs a "Window into Their World" - a poster that offers a glimpse into the life of the Terezin child poet. The posters are displayed in the school hallway, but I have also established an online gallery on my teacher website. For the online gallery, each group of students is also asked to record a podcast episode that offers their listeners a guided tour and explanation of their window. This is my students' way of paying homage to the 1.5 million children who lost their lives in the Holocaust.

How Students were Engaged

Firstly, this task was engaging because my students were studying the lives and poetry of children not that much younger or older than they are themselves. Secondly, this task involved higher level thinking skills: my students had to analyze the poetry texts and synthesize their understanding into both a visual text (poster) and a spoken text (podcast). Thirdly, the digital voice recorder was fun. One student even played guitar and sang his group's podcast. Finally, the online publication motivates the students to produce high quality work: the audience is no longer just the classroom teacher - it's the world!

PBS Program/Content Used