"We are living a public life on a global stage, the ones who can express themselves best, will be heard." -Laura Hill, Author The Great Story World Mix-Up, co-creator #whatisschool

Read the books I write with my children.

Friday, April 4, 2014

“Just Be You” learning lessons for Skype Classrooms 


At The Great Story World Mix-Up, we believe that each child has a unique talent.  By sharing these talents students grow emotionally and intellectually, developing confidence in themselves and trust in their classmates.  The key to growing these talents lies in collaborative learning that fosters emotional intelligence through hands-on, story-driven, project based learning.
The Great Story World Mix-Up "Just Be You" project focuses on Penelope, a science girl and Jilly, a magic expert who journey to Story World, a place where all the stories ever written have come to life.  In this world they need to use their talents to fix some pretty big problems they accidentally created. 


The “Just Be You” learning lesson for Skype Classrooms has three parts:
Part I: Stories and Questions
  Beginning with an engaging story about Penelope and Jilly in Story World, Part I focuses on core questions about the role of friends and family in our lives. Students are encouraged to share stories about friends and family whose talents they admire, ask questions about what it takes to grow a talent and talk about what it means to respect each other’s ideas.  Practical examples of how we are all different are used to illustrate how even the unlikeliest of characters can become fast friends.
Part II: Get Your Ideas Into The World!
  In the second session students create a project plan centered around growing their talents and using them in their community in some way. This could be anything from delivering “I think you are great” notes, to writing persuasive letters, to creating posters highlighting the student’s differences.  The key is hands on creative expression in a collaborative space. Creative expression encourages students to think about the message they are creating and the media they are using to bring attention to it.  The goal is to increase awareness of the effects their talents can have on the community.
Part III: Make A Splash! This is where the real fun begins. Students share the results of their creative efforts (letters, pictures, photos, poems, etc.) on a private webpage they can share with others.  Because we are aware of the dangers posed by public postings we employ this method so students can share their work and get feedback from students in other schools, classes, local officials or anyone the school approves sharing with.  Teachers are in control of who sees the finished webpage.  In this way students can see the effect their work is having on others and get feedback as well.

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