Thursday, February 09, 2006

Coming up with a theme

We had another good yearbook meeting today.

I started out by reading a poem from one of the yearbook company websites called "What is a yearbook?" I wanted to give them a little inspiration for the task of the day: coming up with a theme.

I brought in a list of 2300 yearbook theme ideas. I gave each student two pages and asked them to read through the list and circle any that stood out to them. I reminded them that a theme should be something that is representative of their class and school. I gave them a couple of examples from the list of themes that had depth and could be incorporated into all sections of the book (student life, academics, etc.) and then some that were probably specific to a certain school and wouldn't work so well for ours. They all worked quietly while going through the lists independently. Then I had them form groups of four and discuss their choices and narrow it down to two or three. Finally they presented their top choices to the class. (Wow. That was practically a five step lesson plan, wasn't it?)

Here is the list they came up with:

*Past, Present, Future

*Proud to be

*To be continued . . .

*Is this the end, or just the beginning?

*Many voices. One story.

*2 Good 2 Be Forgotten

*A dynasty like no other

*Caution: Contents May Be Hot

*Excuse yourself from the predictable because we are unpredictable

Apart from the last four choices (which all came from one group that selected about twenty favorites) I was pretty impressed with the themes they chose. The students presenting the ideas from each group had good reasoning behind each selection and how it related to their graduating class.

Monday we'll try to flesh out the ideas and see which ones will be able to carry through the book before taking a vote.

Time just flies in these meetings. We actually get about 25 minutes to work by the time everyone get to the room. I'm really impressed with the motivation and behavior of these twelve eighth grade students though. I've NEVER seen that many eighth graders at my school in one room on task and sitting in their seats participating. What a pleasure.

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