|Ninth-grade Honors English students show off their “this” projects.
This year in Honors English the ninth graders have been making a “this”. Mrs. Mary Rice, Honors English teacher at SJHS, said, “A ‘this’ is called a ‘this’ because there are many folded pieces to it, and as I explained the folding to students, I found myself constantly using phrases like ‘then fold this’ or ‘bring this together with that.’ And thus a ‘this’ was born.” A “this” consists of specially folded pieces that contain specific information about a text that students used their summer reading to create, with Mrs. Rice’s assistance.
According to Mrs. Rice, the point of the whole project is to assist students in using several levels of cognition to create their “this." Some of these skills are abstraction and re-reading. “Every person is more capable of making more meaning from text when they re-read a text, especially when the purposes vary,” said Mrs. Rice. To complete the "this," students had to find irony in texts and learned how to analyze information when reading a text.
The students’ finished projects consisted of plain paper foldouts to huge paper bikes. “When we did the project we had to read a book over the summer, analyze all the irony, plot, setting, then make our foldouts,” said Zach Ewing, ninth grader at SJHS. Skyler Anderton, another ninth grader at SJHS, said, “I read Sporting News Magazine over the summer. Then I made a paper football with fancy info on it.”
According to Zach and Skyler, the project wasn’t very hard. “It is just very time consuming,” said Skyler. Mrs. Rice explained, “When the students initially hear what I want them to do and I start showing them examples, they are somewhat daunted. However, one thing about students I have learned over the years is that they want to be presented with really complex work to do, and then they want support and instruction in doing the work. Next they want the space to do the work. Next they want to sit back and enjoy the fact that they were successful. It is rewarding for me to see the students engage with this work and be successful.”