This I Believe

For the first unit in Who Am I?, students investigated the guiding question:

What is my truth? What do I believe?

Here’s the scenario students were challenged with:

This I Believe is an international organization engaging people in writing and sharing essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives. Over 125,000 of these essays, written by people from all walks of life, are archived here on our website, heard on public radio, chronicled through our books, and featured in weekly podcasts. The project is based on the popular 1950s radio series of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow.

And we want you! We want to hear your truth and learn how your beliefs shape your generation. It is evermore crucial for the voices of the youth to be heard in an age of technology that puts the power of communication in your hands. Record a podcast recalling the moment that helped shape your belief and influenced your identity today.  Tell an impactful and heartfelt story for an opportunity to be featured on our website.  

Please click on audio track below to listen to the students’ This I Believe podcasts.

Alignment with Common Core ELA Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1d: Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.5: Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.6: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.5: Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.

food for thought

The Life of Food- A Food for Thought Online Installation

For the Food For Thought Course, GCE Freshmen investigated the following guiding question:

What is the history of food, from center of origin to your table? 

Here’s the scenario students were challenged with:

After the success of their exhibit “Seeds of Change,” The Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. is putting together a collection of stories for an exhibit about food, showing how both people and foods have moved around the world since the Agricultural Revolution.  The exhibit will include biographies of specific foods that we all know and love, and trace their journeys throughout history.

To contribute a story to the exhibit, you must choose a food and write its autobiography, which tells the story  of how it got from its original Center of Origin to your dinner plate.

Alignment with Common Core ELA Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

I Believe

This I Believe – a “Who Am I” Online Installation

For the first Who Am I? Action Project, GCE Freshman investigated the following guiding question:

What is my truth? What do I believe?

Here’s the scenario students were challenged with:

This I Believe is an international organization engaging people in writing and sharing essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives. Over 125,000 of these essays, written by people from all walks of life, are archived here on our website, heard on public radio, chronicled through our books, and featured in weekly podcasts. The project is based on the popular 1950s radio series of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow.

And we want you! We want to hear your truth and learn how your beliefs shape your generation. It is evermore crucial for the voices of the youth to be heard in an age of technology that puts the power of communication in your hands. Record a podcast recalling the moment that helped shape your belief and influenced your identity today.  Tell an impactful and heartfelt story for an opportunity to be featured on our website.  

Please click on audio track below to listen to the students’ This I Believe podcasts.

Alignment with Common Core ELA Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1d: Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.5: Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.6: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.5: Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.

MDGs: An integrated, project-based high school class

SDGs & You

What are the biggest challenges facing humanity, and what is your role in addressing them? In March 2012, the world population topped 7 billion people. While this population continues to grow exponentially, natural resources dwindle and are distributed unequally. More than ever, our world needs thoughtful, engaged, global citizens to address the world’s growing crises. In this course, you will study the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and pursue strategies for achieving them.

Who Am I?: An integrated, project-based high school class

Who Am I

How will I investigate my Self to know who I am? The Who Am I? course is a journey into your Self, your beliefs, origins, fears, and hopes—pursued through philosophical discussions, self-reflections, historical investigations, and diverse field experiences. Specifically, the course challenges your perceptions of Truth, Memory, Doubt, and Belief.

Food For Thought

Food for Thought

How are food systems shaped, and how do they shape the world? In this course, you will be guided through the cycle of life as a metaphor for the trajectory of our global food system. Using food production as a lens, you will study the history of human societies, starting with our transition from hunter-gatherer societies and ending with our current globalized food system.

Global Peace Summer School Poster

Global Peace

What is peace? What is violence? What can you learn from Gandhi’s approach to building a nonviolent movement?

While the Internet has served as a catalyst for revolutions around the world, it may have also fueled a global disconnect that has caused us to overlook the strength, resiliency and relevance of our local communities.

Inspired by Gandhi’s four principles of nonviolent movement building, in this course you will learn about how communities are resisting oppression around the world, and investigate specific case studies as models for making change on your own block. Through conflict mapping, historical analysis, film critiquing, and evaluating nonviolent protest techniques, you will learn about the philosophy, economy, politics, and tools of nonviolence.

This course culminates in the actual implementation of a nonviolent intervention of your own design, in order to take action on an issue of personal importance to you.

*Access to a video streaming service or public library streaming app is recommended.

Lessons

Access this Mastery Project

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SDG Map Poster

SDG Map

The UN SDG Map project will ground you with fundamental reading, research, and writing skills necessary to enter into a conversation about our global priorities. Through project-based inquiry, you will study the greatest challenges facing our planet, understand what is needed to achieve the SDG targets, and create a map that communicates your discoveries and encourages viewers to question their assumptions about the world.

Lessons

  • How does the United Nations prioritize and address global concerns?

  • What are basic human needs, and how are they satisfied?

  • How does access to resources differ globally?

  • How does your neighborhood meet the basic needs of you and your community?

  • What can countries learn from each other to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals?

Access this Mastery Project

Access this Mastery Project, Teacher’s Guide, worksheets, sample answers, and example of excellence.