The Assignment

Now that you know the inspiration for the assignment, let’s get to the meat and potatoes of the thing. Before I share the assignment with you, let’s go over the rules:

1. You are allowed to use assignments I post.
2. Before using said assignments, you must give students a lengthy speech on one of the following topics: littering, recycling, exercising, or “kids these days.”
3. If someone sees the assignment and offers you a promotion/money/cookie, you must forward the cookie to me or buy me a gift with the money. Promotion is yours to keep, but if I someday come to you needing a favour, illicit or otherwise, I expect no hesitation or need for explanation.  

That being said, here’s the assignment:


For anyone wondering, I aligned this assignment with these curricular outcomes: CRA10.4, CCA10.1c, CCA10.2

We started step one last week. I gave each student a duotang and the assignment to put into it. I briefly explained that in this unit they will overcome a challenge, and we went through the assignment package together. They were less than enthused. Had I at this point stood at the front of the room and led the students in a traditional group brainstorm, I would have lost them. They were tired and unmotivated. Before giving it to students, I showed this assignment to two wonderful consultants, who will henceforth be know collectively as E.T., and T suggested a carousel for the brainstorming activity, which was genius. This involved writing the six brainstorming areas (habits to quit, habits to start, fears to overcome, etc.) on large poster board and putting them up around my room (and some in the hallway, just to shake things up). Students picked a partner and each partnership got a marker. They each started at a different poster and I gave them thirty seconds to write down as many ideas as they could, and then we switched posters. Students were excited – some were actually jumping up and down and shouting out ideas as their partner wrote rapidly on the sheet. I timed the students and yelled ‘go’ and ‘stop’ as gameshow-hosty as I could. When we were done, we all sat down and went through the posters, and they wrote down (on their handouts) at least five ideas for each area.

This is so much more than I would have gotten had I stood at the front and asked them for ideas. I’m a firm believer in doing things alonside the students when appropriate, and for this assignment, it is. The challenge I’ve selected is to run 15k. I’ll let you know how it goes. And yes, yellow marker is going to attempt to quit pot.


2 thoughts on “The Assignment

  1. Vanessa says:

    Aaaaand I’m crying.

    What an AMAZING and beautiful testimonial from your dad….and what a FANTASTIC assignment for the students!!!

    I have to make a wordpress blog for my class and I am going to link to your blog:) Also…I’m sharing your Shakespear idea in a presentation I’m doing on Friday.

    Keep posting my fabulous literary friend!

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