How Might We
How Might We Questions
Working to the Strengths of Middle Schoolers
Culture of GPS
- Introduce sixth graders to mapping and culture by first looking at the science lab and then their whole school
- Expose sixth graders to the history and culture of our school so they might find their place
- Teach expectations by focusing on the personal stories of alums rather than on rules and consequences outlined in the student handbook
- Practice communication skills
- Introduce sixth graders to the research process
- Students mapped the science lab and described its culture.
- Students developed their own questions and sought answers in interviews, online, and in our yearbooks and other publications.
- Students were confident in defining culture and applying it to each of their classes, their families, the South, the characters in A Long Walk to Water, schools our global penpals described to us, and the countries and regions we studies in Asia and Africa.
- Time did not allow for us to map the entire campus the way we had hoped to.
- The most valuable part of the activity turned out to be the conversations with alums who came from a 60 year range of our school's history.
Comparing the inner workings of an African country to the inner workings of an animal cell
- Learn and practice good research skills
- Understand how a cell works and the functions of its organelles
- Choose a way to share information with the class, that is comfortable for each student
- Students stretched themselves on research and presentation type.
- Students began learning how to create an effective presentation.
- Students showed how a cell and its organelles work together to help the cell work efficiently, as well as, how parts of an African country are formed to work together for its citizens.
- Students reflected and self assessed their learning.
- Students began to develop an empathy for those that are different from themselves.
- This was done at the end of a semester which was challenging to grade before the semester break, due to each student doing an individual project and a looming deadline for report cards.
- Students made unique connections that were not predicted by the teachers.
- More time was needed to front load information about the countries.
Design-Thinking Refugee Body System Project
- Develop empathy for others
- Have a deep understanding of at least one body system
- Experience a complete human centered design thinking challenge
- Connect learning about movement, migration, and empathy from Global Cultures to learning about the body systems in a final project
- Students conducted research about the refugee experience traveling to and living in refugee camps.
- In groups, students chose a particular body system as their focus.
- Students designed prototypes that would make a refugee's body system work better.
- Students informally shared their prototypes with adults on campus for feedback.
- Students presented first to their classmates and teachers and then presented their fine-tuned prototypes to a panel of judges from outside our classroom.
- The process and products that resulted became the centerpiece of our Global Science Showcase at the end of the year.
- I wonder if we can provide more student choice by more broadly defining their user. Perhaps instead of just refugees they would want to look at other groups experiencing movement or living away from home like migrant workers, Peace Corps volunteers, overseas NGO workers, those in Space, or the Military.
- To avoid oversimplification of the refugee experience, students need to be given a broader range of teacher collected resources to examine.
- We need to begin work on requesting panelists earlier in the process to diversify the pool, as well as, extend our reach outside of Chattanooga through the use of technology.