Option #1: History and Place


September 2008 to May 2009
Students will become familar with the life and work of a notable poet, provide a summary of what they learn, create their own work and a brief bio in response to chosen poet, and post said poems for others to read. Art classes involved in this project will create artwork in response to any of these original poems, then students will be invited to respond to poems and art developed by others involved across the country. Podcasts will be possible and encouraged as will any ways students can see to enhance the level of technology used. The objective is to research the life of a poet and their work in an effort to understand how one poet relates his or her work to the time or place in which he or she lives. Students collaborate with teachers and peers to choose a poet to highlight, read, and study. They will use pre-approved, reliable websites (www.poets.org) and www.poetryfoundation.org) to choose and learn about their poet. They will post here what they learn as well as what they write creatively in response to a poet's work. Of additional value will be how students decipher metaphors and symbolism in poetry, even possibly how they (or certain poems' speakers) perceive a particular historical event. Students may embed their VoiceThreads in Google Earth so that they can compare and contrast broad literary, geographical, and historical themes. Students are also periodically asked to complete peer reviews of others work as the project progresses. This project is part of the Teens and Technology group.

Timeline and Activities (in progress)

1. Students will do preliminary reading and research to select a reputable poet to study. Teachers to approve poet and post here by late October.
Poets 2008 include Jefrey Harrison, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Ralph Tejeda Wilson.

2. Students will conduct said research (using www.poets.org and www.poetryfoundation.org as well as other sites approved by local teacher) and obtain instructions and approval for an intersting way to share biographical, regional, and historical information here with fellow classmates and students from other participating schools (deadline: late December). Along with the biographical information, students will include a poem or poems of interest (preferably with connection to history, place, geography, etc.).

Poets' Biography and Work 2008.

3. Also, by late December, each student will write and post a minimum of one creative response connected to chosen poet (preferably a unique and original poem; more details and options to follow when relevant in November).

Student Poems 2008.

4. Students may read and respond to other's original work as well as the chosen poets' works here during January and February. We will try our hand at using Voicethreads and podcasts to hear students read their own work.

5. By April 1, 2009, art students and teachers involved will create, post and/or link unique artwork created in response to poems or research (scanned into the computer, font decided on for poem, and Photoshop is used to overlay poem on artwork). Images are posted to Voicethread.

Student Art 2008

7. During April and mid-May 2009, art and English students sign up for VoiceThread account and leave comments on at least 2 works, or they may post comments here as well.

8. VoiceThreads are embedded in Google Earth layer (tech students will do this) by mid-May 2009.

9. AP students may elect to use the layer to write a paper comparing and contrasting general themes about poetry, history and geography (optional).

Teachers will use email and Skype conference calls periodically to communicate and measure progress.



Technology Version (to be edited by Thomas with respect to revised steps above)
1. Pick a start date
2. Students choose five famous poets and get approval from their instructor. (1 week for completion).
DELIVERABLE: each student turns in a choice of 5 poets and orders them by perference. Choices will be posted on the wiki by each teacher.
3. Instructors from each school look at choices and assign students their poet. Each student at each school will need a different poet.(1 week for completion).
DELIVERALBE: Final decisions will be posted on the wiki.
3. Students research the life of their poet, famous historial events, and various poems. Students collaborate with their teachers to decipher how the poet depicts famous historical events or places. Students may want to check with a history teacher to get an idea of key historical events taking place that might have affected the poets life and therefore might be evident in their work. (2 weeks for completion).
DELIVERABLE: Once each students collects the information and decides on a particular poet and a particular work, then each student writes a short essay of about 2-3 pages double spaced that gives an overview of the poet's life, discusses key historial events, and discusses how they were addressed in one of the poet's works. Poets and poem choices are posted on the wiki for art students.
5. Art students are assigned a poem. Art students are tasked with creating a work of art about the poem that depicts specific ideas about place or how the poet saw key historical events unfolding around them. (3 weeks to complete)
DELIVERABLE: A work of art. Art may be of any type (i.e. painting, mixed media, charcole drawing, etc.). Art is scanned in and stored as a file. Files are uploaded to the wiki.
6. Students create a short video of them reading the poem. Students who do not have access to video equipment may elect to do a podcast using Audacity. Students should not give any personal information in the video. Students should give the name of the poem and the author before reciting the poem. Students should film the clip in an area that depicts ideas in their poem. Students can use Movie Maker (which is free) to create the video clip(2 weeks for completion).
7. Teacher signs up for an account on Youtube or TeacherTube and post student's videos for their school. Do not post footage to wiki, as the files are too big. Videos are embedded in the wiki and other teachers review and comment. Students may also be asked to join the wiki and do a peer reivew. (1 week for completion)
DELIVERABLE: Students email teacher a copy of their video.
8. Teacher downloads copies of Google Earth Pro (free, I have licenses to share) and teaches students how to use it. Students can view screencasts on how to work with the software on wiki site. Students embed their video and the artwork in their placemark. Student email their placemarks for the instructor for review. (2 weeks to complete).
DELIVERALBE: Placemark file with art work and video embedded.
9. Instructors from different schools reivew placemarks and make suggestions. There is an opportunity here for students to do peer reivews. We can post the files on the wiki site. (1 week to complete).
10. Final layer is complied and posted to the wiki (1 week to complete).
Based on this schedule, it will take us 11 weeks to complete this project. The 3 weeks for the art students overlaps the English schedule.