Dekalb New TechTeachers: Cindy Boyd and Briana SchrockCourse: Media Lit Grade: 10Driving Question:How do we inform others in our community about our history? Project SnapshotThe Cedar Creek Anthology Project began with a trip to Woodlawn/Roselawn Cemeteries in Auburn, Indiana with a local county historian. The students learned about stories of DeKalb County’s past and chose an individual to research.The next few weeks were spent in the classroom researching their chosen citizens. In addition to utilizing online sources and the local library, several students took the initiative to contact living relatives to conduct interviews. Students also participated in several acting lessons during their weeks of research. These sessions really pushed on the comfort zone of many of the students yet enabled them to see the relevance of assuming the true intentions of the citizens of their county.  Each student began to understand that this original performance piece would be so much more than simply presenting the information to an audience.  They quickly began to research time period clothing, shoes, and accessories in an effort to provide the most accurate portrayal possible.Performances were held at the prestigious Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn, Indiana, a hub for the local community.  This building once housed the automobile manufacturing company for these extravagant period cars.  A part of this historical establishment’s mission is to provide the community with authentic, engaging and educational offerings; thus, it served as the perfect backdrop to the  performances highlighting the lives of so many of DeKalb County’s influential citizens. Student Products Research document on local historical individualOriginal performance piece for school, parents, and communityTeacher Reflections“Initially, the kids weren’t too certain about taking a field trip to the cemetery; however, once we arrived and they started hearing the stories of DeKalb County’s past, their excitement began to build.  They were calling out names and letting us know that these specific people were the ones they wanted to research.  From that point on, both student buy-in and engagement were phenomenal.  We never had to push them or try to reign them back in; instead, they took the lead and the excitement continued to build.”“We were impressed with the perseverance of the students as many of them had chosen to research people on whom there was very little published information. In addition to utilizing online sources and the local library, several students took the initiative to contact living relatives to conduct interviews.”“Overall, our students far exceeded our intentions as they rose time and again to each new challenge they were handed.  A surprising result of all of this was the challenges they issued to us as their teachers as well.  Working alongside one another, this quickly became a student-driven project that brought us all together.”AssessmentThe teachers used the NTN High School Oral and Grade 10 Written Communication Rubrics.Student Reflections“Completing Cedar Creek Anthology with the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum was an eye-opening experience for me. It made me realize how so many normal small town people can play such a significant part in the world. Being limited to just DeKalb County at first seemed challenging; it was intimidating to pick someone who not only was connected to the county but also relatable to us. After a long process of research, writing, and rehearsing, it all came together in the end by presenting it to our friends, family, community, and the workers of the ACD Museum.” — Tianna Freeman“The project we did at the ACD Automobile Museum connected the past with the present to create an incomparable experience. It extended the limits of oral communication and presentations. We captivated ourselves in the stories and lives we created and studied. Furthermore, we invited the audience to join us on our journey. It challenged us to expand our vocabulary so that we could build the environment of their lives solely out of our words. With the freedom of choosing who we wanted to portray, we had the chance to pick someone who related to us on a personal level. The connection between us and our characters was important for the presentation. Overall this project was beyond compare.” — Caitlynn Shipe“DeKalb’s New Tech Program gives its students many opportunities while they are in high school. It runs many different projects, each uniquely influential to the students. So far the most impactful project we’ve gone through would be our A.C.D. Wax Figures project. This project had us choose an individual from DeKalb County that was extremely influential, then portray that person at the A.C.D. Museum. By having our own say on who we portrayed, the project allowed all of us students connect to our individuals. I was fortunate enough to portray Will Cuppy, author of How to be a Hermit and many more pieces of literature. By portraying Cuppy, I felt that I grew as a reader because of his diversity in works. This project allowed students to feel more whole as a community by discovering some of our history. Some of us even got to meet family members of these individuals as well as people alive today who are extremely influential to DeKalb County.” — Xander Clemons.Teachers at New Tech Network can view the full project in Echo using the Community Tool.  Search the Community using this code:BZ355325872_d6e679afaa8348538e72bc6f05c2f7e3Projects Spotlights allow a glimpse into the great projects that are taking place in New Tech schools across the country. To learn more about Project-Based Learning or the New Tech Network, please contact us here.RelatedTags: Best in Network, BIN, PBL

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