I've been pushing for themes in our houses (small learning communities)
to no avail. Too much change at once in school reform here. Our school
is divided into 4 multi-grade houses, but as an encore teacher I see kids
from all 4 houses. Anyway a quarter is all the longer I see a single group
of seventh graders. I do use the face as a theme through out the quarter.
I did stray a bit doing the back of heads assignment.
Woody in KC
> We are off in WI today too....due to a Teacher's Conference, but the weather
> is awful here too. Anyway, in response to your question, one of my classes
> (seventh grade, elective...22 kids) just finished a quarter long unit of
> study on barns as architecture. It was probably one of the best units I have
> ever taught. I learned as much (or more) than the kids did. We were able to
> take a field trip to see local barns, old and new and to see some really old
> barns (1840s) in an outdoor museum. Our area is very rural, so kids see these
> structures daily, but the old ones are being replaced with pole buildings.
> Anyway, for production, the kids made barns out of clay, kept a sketchbook of
> rural objects while I read of a book of stories of a man's boyhood, drew
> landscapes in pastels and glue and made an accordian book using a story they
> collected though an interview with someone who had lived on a farm. Oh, and
> then at the end, created a display promoting barn preservation with a group
> of students like to teach in units such as this, where everything is tied
> together by a common thread. I need ideas of themes for eighth graders.