On Mondays I teach in a Big Learning Module called the Museum of Mihi. This is a cross curricular (Social Studies, Health and Arts: Drama) module which I co-teach with Megan Peterson and Sally Hart. We have 3 x 90 minute blocks during the day with the same 37 students. The module has been based on exploring students’ personal identity through the artefacts and interests that represent them. Students are then generating their own museum exhibitions to share their identity with peers, parents, staff and invited guests.
Today we started with a reflection exercise on defining personal identity and shared identity; describing their personal identity and then explaining which aspects of their identity they would focus on for their exhibition. Then we were off to our Maker Space to generate their exhibition artefacts.
It was also time today to allocate spaces for the final exhibition. We took them into the space (one of our open learning commons that is not currently in use as a learning space) and then let them negotiate with each other where they would be located for the final exhibition. It was great watching the respectful negotiation occur and then seeing them mark out spaces and help each other start to move furniture as needed.
As the day went on, there was noticeable collaboration occurring between students on creating their artefacts. This was not forced, but naturally occurring, purposeful collaboration that was then being reciprocated as students assisted each other in return for assistance on their artefacts.
As we hit lunchtime I was buzzing with how well the students were progressing. It was one of those moments where you can revel in why we do this job.
I then walked past a learning commons where Lisa had been teaching with Yasmin and Pete and heard similar feelings from Lisa about how their module was going. They were in early stages of an inquiry and were having student run workshops, unconference style as students shared multimedia skills and taught their peers how to use various programmes to present their learning.
The third big module was “Don’t Judge Me” (with Kylee, Bryce and Sarah) where at lunch I heard that students had been designing logos that represented themselves or games that represented their sporting interests. Their 3rd session of the day was students who had designed games running students through their paces in the gym and on the field.
Our afternoon in Museum of Mihi was one of supporting and guiding students as they went about the generation of their artefacts. The students had made great progress and I spent time with students who were designing and starting to make display cases to showcase their artefacts (thanks Martin for your massive help here!). By the end of the day there were some amazing artefacts apparent.
Looking forward to next week when the students need to put a prototype together of their exhibitions so some final refinements can be suggested from peers, teachers and invited museum staff!
It really was a day where the power of our collaborative cross-curricular approach for the Big Modules was apparent to all of the teachers involved. I ended the day reflecting on when we put these ideas together last year and felt we were seeing that vision come to fruition today. Yes, I had a wonderful ale to celebrate tonight!