Monday, March 2, 2015

10/10 Project

So I'm sitting in Pittsburgh chatting with my good buddy David Fouch & he says to me.  "You know what, I think we should do a project together."  At first I thought he might be kidding because he teaches AP US History & I teach 5th graders, not to mention the fact that we teach in different districts...seriously, how in the world could we do a collaborative project with our students.

As it often happens, one comment leads to an idea, which leads to another idea, which leads to something awesome!

So here's the project...his 10th grade students will be creating some video lessons on topics in history (topics my students choose).  My 10 year olds will watch, and complete an assignment (which his students will also be planning and giving feedback on...yeah me!).

In the meantime, my class will be learning about the elements of a good story and the historical fiction genre.  Throughout the month of March we'll be reading The Watson's Go to Birmingham - 1963 and the students will be writing their own historical fiction story.

Here's the catch...their story has to somehow connect to what they learned from David's class.  So let's say they are interested in learning about the Olympics. When they write their story, it needs to somehow involve the Olympics.  Maybe the main character is an Olympic athlete in the games, maybe the setting takes place in the Olympic skating rink...who knows???

When they finish their stories, we'll submit them to David's class (sometime after the AP test because lord knows he has plenty of material to get through before then), and they'll give feedback and help with any historical innacuracies.  Then they'll have 2 weeks to perfect/illustrate/publish their stories.

The really fun part of this whole thing is that close to the end of the year my class is going to go hang out with his class for a day & share our stories.

Today we started learning about historical fiction AND story elements.  Today David's class started planning their videos.

Today my class got SUPER excited because they found out that a bunch of 10th graders are taking the time to make something for them.  Today David's class got all worried because they don't think they'll have enough time to make their videos perfect.

And so the 10/10 Project was born (get it, 10th graders and 10 year olds)...I'm just hoping it's as awesome as I think it's going to be!


  1. This sounds awesome! One thing I struggle with is giving students an authentic/meaningful audience, and this project gave both groups of kids a meaningful audience. I think sometimes students lack motivation because they know that we, the teachers, are the only ones who are going to see their work, and sometimes they really don't care what we think! Thanks for sharing!

    I teach 9th/10th grade ELA and creative writing, so if you ever want to do a project like this with me, I'm game!