Friday, March 28, 2014

20% Project for me...

In our Humanities elective class, students work on semester (or so) long 20% Projects.  (You can see what they're working on at; please leave comments!)

I have not formally completed a 20% Project, however, have been inspired to pursue different interests such as triathlon training again, this time for an ocean swim.  Eek!

Something that has always made me nervous as a Social Studies teacher has been the novel.  I'm nervous that I wouldn't teach it well, that the students are too overwhelmed to bother reading it anyway, that I'd overlap the English curriculum too much, etc, etc, etc.  But today I introduced that we will be reading dystopian novels.  I told the students that I'm trying something new.  We discussed what IS a dystopia, and which books they've read or heard of that would be considered dystopic (Wikipedia has a great list by decade).

Of course, there's the hugely popular novels being made into movies right now.  Surely lots of them will be reading this.  My hope is that they will read these novels, because they're fun to read, but also to be more engaged in our discussion of dystopia and utopia too.

My vision is that the activity will borrow heavily from Katrina Kennett's Edcafes.  I'm nervous because they'll potentially be reading five or six different novels, and I worry that it just won't work.  I fear that it will require way more of my leadership than I envision.  And, of course, I fear that my original reasons for never teaching a novel will all come true.

We'll see how it goes; fingers crossed!

Of course, it wouldn't be a 20% Project if I wasn't reading too.  I consulted this list on Goodreads and will be reading The Handmaid's Tale.

It is the book highest on the list that I have not read (aside from Fahrenheit 451) and has been on my to be read list for practically forever.  Fortunately, a teacher is my school teaches it, so I have easy access to a copy too!

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