During our first unit in our new California Treasures reading series, the students were reading all about people who took a stand in some way or another. To go along with this theme (I am HUGE on thematic teaching, so I try to find connections in all areas of my curriculum when working on projects), I had the students write "I AM" poems in the theme of someone who took a stand.
The students first brainstormed (using a Circle Map) all aspects of life that they were passionate about standing up for. This could be speaking out against an injustice, fighting bullying, stopping animal cruelty, or even putting an end to the horrible cafeteria food (their words, not mine ;) ) They then thought of all the ways they would stand up against that injustice.
Once their ideas were brainstormed, the students wrote their poems from the perspective of someone taking a stand against the injustice. The ideas they came up with were fantastic!
After the poems were done, the students then drew pictures of themselves "protesting" as the character taking a stand they wrote about in their poems. These protestors were wearing t-shirts that showed their character's belief in some way.
All in all, this project really made the students think. They had to think of some worldly injustices they wanted to stop. They had to think in the perspective of a protestor. They had to think of how that protestor would graphically be represented. It was so much thinking, I think I saw steam coming out of the students' ears ;)
Here are some shots of the final product: