Copy
Get inspired by improv! 
This kind of acting is on-the-spot with the actors following two important rules:


View this email in your browser

Topic: Ideation & Essential Questions


Email 4 (of 9)


Get inspired by improv! 

 
This kind of acting is on-the-spot with the actors following two important rules: 
 

1) Say YES and 
 

2) Say yes AND.

Improv actors agree with whatever has been offered and build onto the scene. In the same way, when you are starting your project, create assignments where students can pose their own ideas and questions, and then work together to connect, add, and extend. 

What better way to begin a project than by connecting with your students—their ideas, passions, and questions?

Our third lesson, “Ideation and Essential Questions” asks you to consider how to use an essential question and project activities to have students create ideas about the project through questions and brainstorming. During this phase of a project, students and teachers collaborate on the project and share important ideas.  

Essential questions are open-ended—relevant to academia, students’ lives and the world beyond school—expressed in student-friendly language. Including an essential question in your project can help spark lots of great ideas from your students and inspire further inquiry. 

Activity #1: Create an activity that invites students ideas and questions

 

Activity Notes:


The purpose of this activity is to have you create an early project activity that helps students to brainstorm new ideas and questions related to the project.


Considerations for creating your intro activity:

  • As much as possible, create activities that students can do on their own. You want students to be able to move at their own pace
     
  • Keep instructions simple and clear. Many students will already be overwhelmed coming into the digital learning space. Students may not know how to skim material, so it’s critical to be as simple and clear as possible - more so than you think you need to be. Less is more with online learning!
Some suggested intro activities:
  • Pose your essential questions on a shared document, and invite students to respond to it, or to each others’ ideas, at any point over the course of a day or two. Then, have students return to it and select specific ideas that strike them as meaningful, provocative, or potentially useful.
     
  • In that same shared space, students can also list potential topics to explore, variables to experiment, experts to do Q&A's, and more.

Activity #2: Create a model critique activity

 


Activity Notes:


The purpose of this activity is to have you explore the variety of resources that you can include to help students connect to the project. 


Considerations for including additional resources:

  • Make sure all of your resources can be accessed by all of your students. Remember that you may have students who have limited access to technology, limited data plans, or slow internet connections.
     
  • Include multiple ways for students to connect based on digital access, different abilities, and their learning preferences.
     
  • Provide options for engagement, but not too many options. Highlight resources that learners have to engage with, and then provide more resources separately for students who may want to explore further.

Activity #3: Create a list of 5 resources and then highlight the 2 best ones

 


Activity Notes:


The purpose of this activity is to have you explore the variety of resources that you can include to help students connect to the project. 


Considerations for including additional resources:

  • Make sure all of your resources can be accessed by all of your students. Remember that you may have students who have limited access to technology, limited data plans, or slow internet connections.
  • Include multiple ways for students to connect based on digital access, different abilities, and their learning preferences.
  • Provide options for engagement, but not too many options. Highlight resources that learners have to engage with, and then provide more resources separately for students who may want to explore further.
This is the part of the emails where I start talking in the first person and tell you all the cool things I did in my project “Happy Science” that exemplify this email’s subject area.


I designed activities that I thought would help students begin to brainstorm about their own ideas about happiness. Since the project was about the science of happiness, I searched for the sorts of surveys that experts actually use to measure happiness in psychology so my students could take to scientifically measure their “baseline happiness levels.” I found literally DOZENS of tests (the University of Pennsylvania has this amazing site called “Authentic Happiness” which was a hugely inspiring rabbit hole to fall into during my project planning...), but I ended up selecting two very simple tests that students could complete and score even if they didn’t have access to a computer.

I introduced some reflective writing prompts that were accessible to all the different writing levels of my students so students could begin to brainstorm their own philosophies of happiness. I planned for the small groups to connect with each other to discuss the texts, and also planned a small collaborative assignment that groups could complete asynchronously through a shared Google Doc or a group email thread. For this week’s assignments, I tried to create a lot of entertaining, short and sweet activities that really focused on students getting connected to the project and dipping their toes into the water of “Happy Science.”

Resources

The resources for this section consist of samples that you can reference to help you complete the activities for this lesson. Additional resources can be found by going to the course landing page.

 
 

Sample Student Voice, Choice & Questions Email
This is an email I created for helping students generate ideas and questions about our project.

 

Happiness Reflection Assignment
These are sample writing prompts to help students reflect on our essential questions for the project.

Next Steps

You’re at the end of this section of the course! Check your inbox for the next email.

Copyright © 2021 HTH GSE, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp