As the final week of our class’ Eminent Person Study draws to a close, my RSS feed from our blogs has filled with reports on interviews, summaries of learning centers, reflections on the Night of the Notables itself, and the students’ work continues to astound. Though the grade tens in the class are busy at work drafting a letter to future participants in the project (on how to best tackle the intrinsic curriculum in such endeavors), I am taking this opportunity to share the collected triumphs of our students’ work. If the grade tens’ letter will cover the intangible, I propose that this post serves as a collection of the tangible results of this year’s project.
We say that it’s “not your average poster,” when we talk about learning centers. But even when the traditional posterboard comes into play, the results are seldom conventional. Students’ centers are set up during forty-five minutes of gallery viewing on Night of the Notables, and their authors are encouraged to engage their audience in conversation – about their learning journey, about their eminent person’s life and works – or activities – building parachutes with materials available to Leonardo DaVinci, posing for Rolling Stone cover photographs, or walking a mile in the shoes of a blind librarian.
Some excellent examples reported on thus far:
- Kiko’s Les Paul-itorium – With the excellent added-touch of an authentic blacktop Les Paul.
- Andrea’s “Secret Room” – To represent the compartment in her Eminent Person’s Dutch home which sheltered escaping Jews from the Nazis, Andrea had guests squeeze into a similarly shaped (and scaled) hideaway and endure the cramped space, too many arms, legs and strangers’ breathing (not to mention audio recordings of shouting Gestapo officers.
- Liam’s center on Niccolo Machiavelli was recorded on video and is shared here as a visual tour of letters, maps and portraits of the author of The Prince:
- Ariana – pictured above as Frida Kahlo – constructed her eminent person’s bedroom, where she remained almost entirely after the age of 18, and painted.
- Katie created a worthy tribute to the spirit of Curious George, with engaging material (and one of the night’s many stellar costumes).
- As a means of thanking her interview subject, and eliciting her audience’s contributions to the continuation of her study, Saskia had participants scribe postcards – made with black & white images taken by Zahra Kazemi – addressed to the photojournalist’s son.
It has been mentioned on this blog the momentum the class’ grade nines gave to the proceedings on Night of the Notables. As well, the grade tens’ dedication to helping one another form compelling, vivid speeches – and having drafts of their own work available almost a week before Wednesday evening’s presentations – brought an element of teamwork and unity to the proceedings that contributed to master turns of rhetoric and oratory as students took on the following notable personalities:
- Zahra (Ziba) Kazemi
- Margret Rey
- Madeline L’Engle
- Eddie Vedder
- Miguel Hidalgo
- Clara Shumann
- The Unknown Rebel
- Frida Kahlo
- Corrie ten Boom
- Les Paul
- Captain George Vancouver
- Ferdinand Porsche
- Margaret Cho
There is no shortage of other great pieces of student work on the class’ efforts to obtain interviews, construct learning centers, and otherwise reflect upon the rigors of the project to be found on the Shared Feed of the class’ blogs (especially as the examples here merely represent the early-submissions and work will continue to be added to the RSS feed throughout the weekend). I am still planning to post a collection of interview summaries once they are completed, but this could – in the interest of time – be left to the EminentPerson tag on my Delicious Account, where I have been compiling student examples throughout the course of the project.
Once the grade tens letter is posted, we will ultimately have bid adieu to the Eminent Person Study for this year, and the watershed occasion it has marked, and embark upon – as Andrea so eloquently put it – “the next project:”