Not sure what to call this collaborative idea one of my AP teachers and I are cooking up. The AP Lit class read George Orwell’s 1984, and among the novel activities done by the class, one was to create a visual representing a theme or themes from the novel. I heard some serious bellyaching from students. One group who did a very good video titled it something to the effect “dumbestassignmentever.” But I must say the projects I have seen are quite impressive.
Cut, Paste, Glue, Insert, Save….
The day the projects were due just before spring break there were some kids still frantically building, taping, glueing, painting, you name it–it was happening. As their class presentations began, their excitement grew. Little did they realize how much work had been put into their creative thinking, and project after project kept raising the wow factor. So my collaborating teacher has asked if we could do a display in the library, and allow the students from the two class to come down and see the other classes’ work, and invite others in the school as well to enjoy them. Of course I want to support their creative efforts, but not all can be “hung.” Some must sit atop tables. One is a book that must be opened and unfolded to enjoy–sort of like a popup book. And yet again there is one that is a paper weight. We also have an interesting mobile and a video game simulation. I love that some are very traditional while others are tech-y. These kids were REALLY thinking outside the box with their creations.
These projects need an audience!
So we’ve brainstormed and here is what we are planning. First, we need something to go “with” each product. Wherever we display them, if students viewing the displayed work have not read Orwell’s 1984, they may not understand the significance of the product on display. So our plan is to make either a text, audio recording, or even video of our students providing an “explanation” of the visual. These will answer the questions surely to arise, like “how is this related to the book?” or “what theme does this represent?” These are going to be placed online either in a wiki or google docs or some online storage. Once they are posted, the students will create a QR code to display with their projects in the hall just outside the library. The classes will visit each other’s work, and “interact” with the displayed material. We will extend invitations to other classes to come and interact as well, and provide iPads for students who do not have a phone or device capable of reading QR codes. For those that must sit upon a table top, we will have pictures outside in the hall, with instructions to come inside the library to see those.
Is it a true “gallery walk” by definition?
Okay, so does this meet the definition of a “Gallery Walk?” I’m not sure. But we really believe we can get a little more discussion out of the groups as they see what other students have done and question the significance of choices in visuals. We hope ultimately to have some kind fo recognitions to hand out, like awards for creativity, thinking outside the box, and most unique.
I’m not ready to show any pictures yet. And this class has the ever important AP Exam coming up May 10, so they are focused on prep for that right now. I’m waiting to hear back from my collaborating teacher on the implementation of the virtual gallery walk if you can call it that, like our timeline (will it be before the test or after…sigh, yep, some things revolve around those darned tests.) I’ll keep you posted.