My dual credit English students have been working on their Aunt Ida projects the past few weeks. Aunt Ida is 96 and has died. She owned a home called The Chameleon off the coast of Alabama--on Dauphin Island.
- Once a showplace, the estate has been in need of some TLC for quite some time and suffered greatly in recent years with the onslaught of the hurricane seasons in the southern portion of the United States.
- Unbeknownst to you, you were her favorite niece/nephew and she has left the dilapidated Victorian mansion to you, with some restrictions in place as attorneys meticulously carry out her wishes in behalf of her estate, which was in the process of being listed on the National Registry of Historic places. You have just received official notice of her desires by registered mail.
- You have $50,000 to invest in this home and come up with a way for this venture to: A) be used and enjoyed by others B) make a difference in the lives of strangers C) be established in order for it to perpetuate itself and D) offer a variety of options as a way of preserving the culture and avoiding future disasters with hurricanes and other weather-related events. You need to come up with a way to pay tribute to your aunt and her tenacity of spirit, as well.
- You will be expected to name it and come up with some historical/geographical information designed to promote your cause. You will have a small staff with the following job titles. You may have to add a post or two of your own. You may also have to give some staffers more than one position. You will also need to submit documentation of your job titles and duties.
- Bring your kindergarten supplies. Feel free to use the computers. Priority will be given on a daily basis in terms of participation, dialogue, working well with others, and staying on task. By the time you present your work the week of January 29th, each team will give 20-25 minute presentations on its fine-tuned project. Each person will need a copy of the letter he/she received notifying of Aunt Ida’s death and her wishes. The big projects are worth 300 points for oral communication and teamwork efforts. The rubric will focus on: credibility, teamwork, creativity, organization and overall effect. Be creative. Be personal. Be thorough. Have fun. Use your research skills. Your presentations and research/business plans will be in group form. You must show me that everyone does/his or her part for the project’s success. You must also have a Works Cited sheet in MLA format to hand in to me as a team and a one page project overview with everyone’s name on it and an accountability list. I have copies of MLA handbooks for you to use. (This is designed as a competition and we will try to have judges determine the best presentation for the week.)
- You must have a creative element in your presentation. Things that would suffice include: handouts, costumes, props, posters, Power Point presentations, movies, dioramas, skits, concept maps, brochures, booklets, etc. are fine. Let me know if I can help you.
- Emphasis will be placed on use of class time, being a team player and focusing on individual accountability to accomplish goals for the group. All of the work can’t be done outside of class. I want to see the process at work during your work sessions. We will have to share resources, computers and behave appropriately. You will need to leave the room clean each day with your trash picked up and your chairs on your table.
(A tentative timeline would be to set goals for each day this week to accomplish the following things: brainstorming, planning, research, writing, creatively enhancing the projects, practicing your overview and presenting your work in written and oral fashion. Make sure each person has at least one primary job or role to fill.)
We will be showcasing these projects in February.
What students are doing with this project:
*This is a dual credit expository writing class.
Some are writing grants and looking at historic registry requirements.
Some are doing newscasts, writing scripts and filming and editing.
Some are researching things from hurricanes to oil spills.
Some are looking at historical documents, stories of buried treasure and southern real estate markets.
One group is creating a plan for a magnate school.
One group is building a prison as in Dauphin Island’s Alcatraz.
One group is looking at storm shelters and FEMA grants.
We have looked at famous literary figures from Alabama, like Hank Williams, Sr., Harper Lee, Rick Bragg, Truman Capote, etc.
We are all over the board with cross-curricular concepts, DOK levels, common core implementation and technical writing. They will be posting everything on Blackboard and we will be having judges from the community judge their projects during our final SHOWCASE.
Thoughts for a final celebratory MAKE event include:
--Creating a hospitality-filled event with southern foods.
--Creating a beach party event with towels, beach balls, tub toys, sand buckets, etc.