Imagining a Perfect World

As a follow up to one of their summer reading books, The Giver, by Lois Lowry, Sixth grade students at Montgomery School in Chester Springs, PA, imagine creating their own utopian community, as they complete ten writing assignments. The students write paragraphs explaining community’s name; the symbolism of the motto and seal they’ve created; and the qualities of a special animal chosen to represent their community. Students also write several journal entries for imaginary characters living in the society; a letter to friends and family telling them about the community; and they create an ad to market their community. They also imagine creating an app that might be used in their society, describing what it would do and what type of digital device it might be used for. In addition to creative thinking and writing skills, students practice critical thinking as they come up with ten rules, or laws, for their society, describing the purpose of each, and what form of government might help it run smoothly. “This is a passion-based project, and I look forward to it each year,” explained Language Arts teacher Kami Mulzet. “My favorite element of the project is actually the eleventh element, an ‘Extra Credit’ option, because students surprise me with additions that connect with their own passions. I’ve had students code their app, create time capsules for their society, and write the lyrics and music for National anthems for example.” The final project is then put on a tri-fold board, presented to the class, and graded with a rubric.

Does your school do something similar?

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