A simplexity project
Students often unclear about how to approach a difficult text. As a mini-unit, I designed a project requiring students to work in pairs or small teams and conduct field research to develop their own protocol for accessing a complex text. Here’s the rubric.
The field research was conducted on campus. I set simple challenges for the teams, such as, “Ok, you have 14 minutes to speak with as many available high school students and document their strategies for approaching a tricky text. Go.” Upon their return, I would set another challenge: “Now, you have 12 minutes to question as many non-teaching staff as you can and ask them what techniques they use when they don’t understand a text.” When they returned after round two, I established their next challenge: “Find as many free elementary students and teachers and ask them to share what strategies they have learned. You have 14 minutes.”
After conducting their field research, they documented their notes or video footage on a collaborate team google doc. They were asked to keep researching, reaching out to students, parents, sibling, other adults and research online.
Then, the categorisation began and I conferenced with each team to help them identify patterns, trends and categories. They were asked to develop heading for each category. We had a concept design day where teams generated an analogies, “Analysing a complex text is like…”
Once they had a concept/ an analogy the design phase begin. Teams worked in Canva, piktochart and google draw. Although many consulted noun project for their images, they were encouraged to design their own ones.