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Tuesday, June 05, 2018

The First Time: Learning Trials and Risks

Every year we introduce a number of first time learning/teaching events. There's always a sense of excitement and trepidation as we create, plan for, and implement these events. What will happen? Will the event be successful? How can we prepare students for this new learning? These are questions that fill our minds as we engage in these new events.

Today thanks to a grant from the Wayland Public Schools Foundation, students will see a living history presentation of a famous local historic mentor, Lydia Maria Child. Child, during her time the 19th century, was a well known and influential writer who used literature to promote social reform related to women, Native Americans, and African Americans with a primary focus on the anti-slavery efforts.

All month students have been working on deep research, writing, and creativity related to global change makers throughout time. Later this week, students will provide a living history performance of the character they learned about. Today's performance will model this kind of presentation for students. To prepare for the presentation, students will read a fictional interview with Lydia Maria Childs similar to the interviews they've written and then summarize the interview in six words and illustrations.

Typically our team analyzes the year's program then develops the program with finesse and the addition of new learning events. Over the years some of the new learning events have proven to be successful events we continue to improve and include and our program, and some of the events have been less successful mostly because the events were not well prepared or supported by the presenters or hosting organizations or because the events were simply not engaging enough to capture students interest and inspire their further learning. For example we've had a number of living history presenters. Our latest presentation of Ben Franklin was a keeper, but some of the past presentations were less engaging so we didn't book those again.

Today we'll focus on making this event a success and using it to forward students' biography study and performance throughout the week--memorable study that serves to inspire their later learning and living.  Onward.