Mark Silberberg, middle school principal of LREI (and a big supporter of Inquiring Minds), integrated our lesson, My Future Self, into a class on values. The student's schedule for this class is only once a week so getting 5th graders to retain their focus and stick with this provocative thought experiment took some ingenuity on his part.
Mark invited me to visit the class for the final presentation of the student's work. He began the class by presenting his students' comments captured from the graphic organizers in the lesson packet using Animoto—set to music no less! I was struck by how powerful this reflective process was when students saw their own words, thoughts and aspirations up onscreen.
The students then spread out their work and in small groups—with sticky notes in hand—critiqued each others work using the prompts: 'I like...' 'I wonder...' 'What if...'
The work was really wonderful to see and as we have previously seen in other classes students researched a wide variety of people including: Albert Einstein, Steven Jobs, Abraham Lincoln, George Seurat, Charles Schultz, Jackie Robinson, Babe Zaharias, Audrey Hepburn, Idina Mezel, Hayao Miyazaki, Mo'ne Davis, as well as, parents, grandparents and even a pair of best friends!
As a designer and visual thinker I was impressed with the use of symbols as a way to communicate information on the timelines. I was struck by how much effort the students put into creating the work and their different personalities certainly emerged.
Earnestly and cheerfully students' provided me feedback on the lesson design of My Future Self using The Next Time Mind Lib. We are now analyzing their comments, getting Mark's feedback and considering how we might evolve the project. I'll be writing about those discoveries – and lessons learned – soon!
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For more information about lessons we’ve developed or are currently researching, email us at Lab@inquiringmindsusa.com