Show and Share
Gerri Hajduk and Ed Hullender, Wheeler High School

Overview: This opening activity helps the student focus on his/her own personal history and helps promote a team-building spirit for the entire class. The atmosphere of the class usually improves as the students share their personal stories. Creating such a community of trust and sharing fosters a positive working relationship among students.

Materials: Personal artifact, pen, and paper.

Time: Approximately 1 hour.

Instructional Sequence:

  1. Ask the students to consider a personal artifact that reflects their own personal history in a meaningful, positive way. Examples could be a favorite trophy, a childhood blanket, toy, or a favorite picture.

  2. At this point students may be confused about the exact requirements of the assignment. The teacher clarifies the assignment by modeling his or her own artifact to the class. This modeling creates a positive atmosphere in the class between the students and teacher.

  3. After the students have decided on their personal artifacts, students write a one to two page essay describing the significance of their piece.

  4. Students are asked to share their artifact with the entire class. They may read either a paragraph or their entire paper to the class. If possible, allow time for questions from the audience, their classmates.

Evaluation: The activity may be graded in several different ways: notebook grade, daily or test grade.

Note: The teacher should remind students that highly personal or sensitive material should not be shared with the entire class. This activity works best in the first few days of class.



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