Thursday, June 9, 2011

Artifacts for the Museum

So it's the last month of school, and you are marvelling that your students are still toting around those swollen backpacks.   Why won't they shed some of their papers and keep them at home?   Why won't they recycle some of the unnecessary weight?   Isn't some of it ready for the circular file?   If you could just get them to explore some of that extra bulk, would they part with any of it?  

Here's a fun end-of-year writing assignment that allows writers time to analyze their archives.   Wallets, purses, pockets are also places where something usable may be tucked away.

What's this all about?   Let's say that you are starting a museum display that represents your students' 8th grade lives.   You want one item from each child with a detailed paragraph for an exhibit label.  

Their labels should reflect the importance of their contribution to the collection.   What is this object?   What's its history and significance to the exhibit?   I encourage students to write fiction, non-fiction or a combination of both.   Writers glue/tape their artifacts to a sheet of paper right alongside their descriptive paragraph.   If you have the time and space, it would be fun to actually put these on display in your classroom and allow classmates to browse the collection.

Agenda pages, doodles, movie tickets, candy wrappers, food packaging, notes, programs, small toys, photographs-- these are just a few items from this year's contributions.

This is a flexible assignment that you will enjoy reading.  

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