As satisfying as it is to create a community of learners who engage with the texts of the class and each other, it is even more exciting to see them go outside of school, collect material, and share this with the class. Even better, is the satisfaction of watching them share what they have explored with students who are in different classes.
Education becomes a part of their lives as they engage academically with their families, peer edit their work that will go beyond the teacher, first, in the creation of the anthology, and finally, when they share the content and learning process with their peers.
* Students will construct and conduct an interview in order to record a primary source.
* Students will create an edited anthology of their stories.
* Students will create a study guide for other students who read the anthology.
* Students will help less skilled readers work through the student text and lead a discussion based on the student generated study guide.
After reading the Grapes of Wrath set during the depression, and studying Cesar Chavez in the 60’s; after working with the theme of community, in whatever sources you might use, students will be excited to collect first hand information about their family’s own migration stories. This worked for me especially well since I live in an agricultural area where so many of my students’ parents migrated from Mexico, but students who were multi-generational American were also able to learn about their families by asking how their parents and guardians came to settle in our town.
Hosts and visitors work through questions in small groups and the authors love how the guests don't just say, "cool story" but actually engage with their text. They feel that their writing has a purpose. The guests speak about the respect they have for the migrants, are moved by the details of their struggles, and are impressed that so many others share their family's experience. All speak of the bonding of sharing genuine, intimate stories.
This lesson contains the following:
1 . A detailed, step by step description that includes how to create the interview, write the narrative, assemble the anthology, create a study guide for another class, work with other students with their anthology.
2. Handouts: sample of student generated interviews; sample of student generated study guide; sample invitation to other teachers.
3. Ideas for grading and assisting, and peer editing.
4. A reflection activity.
5. Follow-up activities.
6. Time: The entire process takes about ten weeks; as you can see this project can work in conjunction with another (there are three weeks where only the editors are working on it).
You may want to add this to your student calendar
* Day one/week one: Create the interview (30-60 minutes)
* Week three: check to confirm interview notes (15-20 minutes);Optional Show Don’t Tell assignment (30-90 minutes)
* Week four: Peer edit first draft of narratives (60 minutes); Peer edit revisions (60 minutes)
* Week five: Turn in final narrative; student editors review and make suggestions.
* Week six: Teacher: read work, make comments; create a forward. The main student editor sets up account for publication, creates table of contents and PDF, submits for proof copy. Depending upon how many sections of this class you have you might want to combine classes into one or two anthologies. I used one book for two classes.
* Week seven: review copy; order books
* Week nine: Books arrive, students create study guide. (60-90 minutes). Teacher invite other classes. Optional, have students apply their study guide to a story they haven’t yet read,, before working with the guests. (60 minutes)
* Week ten: Guests arrive and read with hosts (120 minutes). Double, if you would like your classes to be hosts, twice.