In order to begin completing this project, I outlined the units we would be studying this semester: a social issue independent reading novel, poetry, 1984, and Farewell to Manzanar. After each unit was completed, the groups were able to have time to work collaboratively, figuring out how they wanted to answer the question and in what format they wanted to present their findings. Also, the groups worked with me to determine a rubric for the assignment as well as determining into what grading category the assignment should fall. This project was student-based where they determined the answer as well as how it should be assessed.
After watching the tremendous hours and valuable collaborative discussions many groups put into this project, I would most certainly assign the challenge to my classes in the future. I was impressed by how each groups' presentations were so varied as well as the methodology behind presenting their findings. Groups used PowerPoint, PhotoStory, and MovieMaker. Some groups chose to look at the semester under one large topic (i.e. humans are hurtful to one another) while other groups broke it down to each text specifically (i.e. social issue books say humans are vengeful, Farewell to Manzanar says human can survive, etc...). I even had one group who choose to cover the material from their entire freshman year. Impressive!
Also, to me, this project is exactly what is required of them in the "real world." They were asked to synthesize information, work in a collaborative group, blend each participants' differing ideas, be creative, be original, and learn something.
I hope you take the time to watch what they have created and offer some constructive criticism. If you only have time to pick one I would pick "Experiences" (wonderful blend of music and visuals to enhance their presentation- plus it made me cry). I do think they are all worth watching!