CHANGEd 60-60-60: STUDENT STORYTELLING

Thinking about What if we designed title sequences for our courses and our schools? 60-60-60 #49 and reflecting…

So…something that I’ve learned today: movie and television producers don’t actually create the film and TV title designs that introduce their work. It seems like a pretty obvious thing, I guess, as those works have a different feel and purpose than the actual movie or show. While I suspect that the product is usually a lot better than the producer could have envisioned or created by nature of their specific talents and strengths, the “letting go” that has to happen is surprising. And it must be difficult on a few different levels.

Bo’s CHANGEd question about title sequences for our classes and schools is an interesting one. But, what if we educators let go a bit and created the space for our students to do the designing? So instead of “What if we…” the question becomes “What if they…” How might their opening sequences – unique to the learner – provide a different glimpse into the class or the school? Usually, our students are much better storytellers than we are…

Using something that happened in a Kindergarten class yesterday, I can think of many different approaches to the title design that tells the story of a very important event in the classroom. Three options that could be taken in terms of teacher-student-parent communication, in decreasing order of teacher control:

Option 1: “Great news! Our first chick hatched and the children are so excited. They have so many questions that they want to explore. Don’t forget to ask them about what they saw today! We think that more and more chicks will be hatching in the next week!”

Option 2: Can you guess what happened today – and what will be happening in the next few days and weeks?

“It’s coming!” “It’s the fastest chick that’s ever hatched.” “It’s hatched!” “One hatched.” “Awwww…” “His Head!” “He hatched.” “Ewww!” “Hey, look, you can see that nasty thing!” “That nasty thing!” “Ew!” “Look, he’s pecking into the others…his brothers!” “Into his next-door-neighbors!”  “His head popped out!” “Cooool…he’s sorta nasty but he is pretty cool!”

Option 3: Our newest community member!

As we think about putting the learning in the hands of the learner (and reflecting on the learning is a huge part of doing just that), why don’t we honor and utilize our students’ voices and visual stories more often? Why don’t we ask them to create the “title designs” for courses and curriculum more often?  It’s time we tried — clearly students as young as those in Kindergarten are ready to try it. The question is…are the adults?

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