“90-Second Summary/Literature on a Football Field” (originally published here on GettingSmart on 8.24.2016)
I’ve always been fascinated by behind-the-scenes documentaries. Whether it’s a captivating musician on VH1’s Behind the Music, an eternal sport with Ken Burns’ Baseball, or some commonly used gadget on the Science Channel’s How It’s Made, I am constantly amazed by the underlying complexity of greatness. Take, for example, the iconic symbol in Forrest Gump…a meandering feather. Unless you watched this three-minute documentary, you would never imagine that something so seemingly simple demanded countless hours of digital rendering and choreographed acting. And this same attention to detail is precisely why the “90-Second Summary” is such an effective classroom assignment. The assignment goes something like this: After studying John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men through whole-class interactive learning structures and improvisational acting, I ask students for volunteer team leaders. For this particular literature, teams of 12-15 are just about perfect. Once the leaders have stepped forth, they both draft their teammates in an organized and anonymous fashion. Once the teams have been announced, the students get to work on the following assignment details:
- Ahh Yeah! The Slow Jams Are Back
- Drop the Syllabus for a “No-Dis Day” on Day One
- Do You Know Me? The Voice of a Disgruntled Student in a Boring Class
Stay in-the-know with all things EdTech and innovations in learning by signing up to receive the weekly Smart Update.