The Canon Project: Exposure, Evaluation, Conversation, Reflection, Presentation
So often students' evaluation efforts hover around the un-critical. We hear things like, "It's cool. I like it." Or, "That's boring because I don't like it." This project helps students make critical thinking a commonplace thing when it comes to evaluating text or media.
In this project, students will learn about the traditional literary canon, develop their own individual criteria for labeling something canon-worthy, identity texts/media that have canon-worthy traits, and finally narrow all possibilities down to 10 - resulting in their personal canon. Students will engage in conversations with peers, adults, do reflective thinking & writing, compare & contrast, make arguments using evidence, and present their final canons.
Unique details of this project?
- Students retain primary responsibility
- There are over 10 activities
- Promotes student empowerment
- Highly reflective for both students and teacher
- Timeline/length is teacher's choice
- Accessible by different types of learners
This unit can easily last a couple of days to a few weeks to even the course of the school year. The flexibility that this project allows is helpful in differentiating within and across your classes.
This detailed project includes:
- Infographic: 5 reasons why empowering activities like The Canon Project are important - from peer-reviewed educational research
- ELA Anchor Standards for grades 6 - 12
- Teaching Tolerance Anchor Standards
- Main Focus, Unique Details, Activities/Tasks List/Resources Included List
- Teacher Tips
- Project Introduction Ideas
- Guided Notes on the traditional literary canon
- Answer Key for Guided Notes
- Examples of a traditional literary canon, an African America literary canon, women's literary canon, and Latinx literary canon
- Canon Candidate Application Form
- Canon Application Tracker
- Candidate Consideration Practice Activity
- Candidate Consideration Practice - Teacher Prep
- 4 Presentation Ideas - ALL WITH RUBRICS!
- Gallery Walk Journal & Visitor Prep Worksheet
- Long Term Project Calendar Planning Activity
- 2 Reflective Conversation Sheets (one to use early in project/one to use later on in project)
- Peer Conversation Activity Guide
- Adult Conversation Activity Guide
- Deliberation & Finalization Activity Guide
- Final Canon Sheet
- Other People's Canon Activity Guide
- Student Reflection Guide
- Teacher Reflection Guide
Skills developed in this project:
- Close reading of a variety of text/media formats
- Developing critical thinking skills to evaluate text and media
- Using language to effectively explain judgements
- Using textual and contextual evidence to support reasoning
- See the previews to view the entire list of standards
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Sincerely, Beth Salyers
Off The Beaten Path - Curriculum & Instruction