Thursday, March 9, 2017

SOLSC #9 - New Units

For the fourth year, I am participating in the SOLSC and guiding students from my classroom and my school on the same writing journey. Here is the link to our school blog and the 15-20 students who are participating in the Classroom Challenge.

Unit List:

Note - This is the first time in four years of this challenge where I have not actually posted a blog on time. I had a busy day and had the blog planned all along but a dear friend was over for dinner and I wasn't willing to end a great conversation early to get this post up. Also, being in Denver, it's not yet midnight here so I'm going to claim I'm still "good."

The twenty-three middle school students in my classroom have chosen new individual units to study for the spring. The job of me and my co-teacher is to use these topics, and the questions generated by the students, to craft educationally appropriate projects for each student. In reality, we will generate ideas, find some great resources, add in our own questions, and then work with each student to get on the same page for each project. We are good at making great projects, but the students are even better because they help us zoom in on what is important to them. We just need to add in the appropriate academic skills, challenges, scaffolding along the way. And we LOVE helping, watching and reflecting with the students as they pursue what that are passionate about. Enjoy the list below and imagine what you could investigate about each topic.

Hip-hop Song Break Down
3D printing
Sneaker Culture
Alternative energy
Supreme Court Cases
The image of beauty through history and how makeup is made
Taxidermy: The study and preservation of natural creatures in their visual appearances, lifestyle, and traits through display
Native American Animal Totems
Ice Cream
Computer Software
Instrumental Engineering
Food Culture and Tradition
Social Media
Solving the African Water Crisis
Political Activism
Criminal Law
Photography and Social Media
The future of humans
Food Around the World
Culture expressed through food
Digital Art


  1. Dang! And I was so proud of Miles for choosing a 1-word unit. Clearly I didn't see the subtitle.
    Great slice!

  2. Your students came up with some very interesting topics. Allowing them to study something they are interested in will no doubt encourage them to work hard at the academic requirements. What a great way to get middle-school students excited about learning!

  3. Wow! These are great topics. How do these self-selected, self- and teacher-designed units work? Do they happen just once a year or are they part of your curriculum throughout the year? Thanks for sharing.