Reimagining Creation Stories

For the first Action Project in Stories, GCE Sophomores investigated the following guiding question:

How do you visualize stories of creation?

Here’s the scenario students were challenged with:

In collaboration with NASA’s space colonization program, you have been asked to contribute a creation myth for a new anthology titled “Other Worlds” that will promote trans-galactic migration. Your job as a storyteller is to convey the setting of a planet using descriptive language and etiology so that your audience here on Earth will find it an interesting, exciting, and worthwhile place to relocate.

Using your knowledge of global creation myths, and your understanding of key story elements and literary devices, including, setting, metaphor, simile, and sensory imagery, you will create your own creation myth for another world and present this to your peers. Your story and presentation should captivate your audience–be creative, descriptive, and intriguing as you describe your world, and explain the reasons for some of its key environmental features (plants, animals and other organisms, climate, regions, natural resources, etc.).

Click on the different components in the world to read the students’ creation stories.

Project Alignment with Common Core ELA Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3a Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.

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.RL.9-10.3 Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.7 Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment (e.g., Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus).

Poetic Justice

Poetic Justice

How can you become a poet of social change?

If more politicians knew poetry, and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a little better place in which to live. —U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

Poetic Justice asks you to explore the relationship between art and politics, uncover the history of protest poetry, and understand its status and evolution within today’s political climate. The course begins with an introduction to two basic concepts – poetry and politics. We will discuss the differences between poetry and the other literary arts as we attempt to identify the unique qualities that make verse such a powerful medium for political expression. Along the way, we will read, hear, watch, and analyze political poetry from the past and present moments as we prepare to write and perform our very own protest poems. How will you use poetry to fight the power?

Students of Poetic Justice will pursue these Guiding Questions:

  • What makes poetry radical?
  • Where does poetry fight for freedom?
  • How will you protest with poetry?

Creation Stories

For the first Action Project in Stories, GCE Sophomores investigated the following guiding question:

How do you visualize stories of creation?

Here’s the scenario students were challenged with:

In collaboration with NASA’s space colonization program, you have been asked to contribute a creation myth for a new anthology titled “Other Worlds” that will promote trans-galactic migration. Your job as storyteller is to convey the setting of a planet using descriptive language and etiology, so that your audience here on Earth will find it an interesting, exciting, and worthwhile place to relocate.

Using your knowledge of global creation myths, and your understanding of key story elements and literary devices, including, setting, metaphor, simile, and sensory imagery, you will create your own creation myth for another world and present this to your peers. Your story and presentation should captivate your audience–be creative, descriptive, and intriguing as you describe your world, and explain the reasons for some of its key environmental features (plants, animals and other organisms, climate, regions, natural resources, etc.).

Project Alignment with Common Core ELA Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3a Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.

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.RL.9-10.3 Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.7 Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment (e.g., Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus).

Shakespearean Sonnets

For the Drama Course, GCE Sophomores investigated the following guiding question:

How would you give advice as a sonnet?

Here’s the scenario students were challenged with:

Chicago Shakespeare Theater started a public call for reviving the sonnet as a poetic form. They posted an open invitation to High School students from around the world to write a sonnet addressing any character created by Shakespeare. The sonnet needs to describe the character, as well as advise him/her on how to deal with a social or gender issue they are facing in their dramatic world.

Please read and click on different parts of the sonnet below to see the poets perform their sonnet. Write your own sonnet in response to any gender inequalities you see around you and leave it as a comment.

Alignment with Common Core Standards

Reading Standards for Literature

RL 7.5: Analyze how a drama’s or poem’s form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning.

RL-11-12.3: Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

RL-11-12.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)

RL-11-12.7: Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text. (Include at least one play by Shakespeare and one play by an American dramatist.)

RL-11-12.10: By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 11–CCR text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

Writing Standards

W.9-10.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects

WHST-9.1a: Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.
a. Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among the claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

WHST-9.1: Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying data and evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both claim(s) and counterclaims in a discipline-appropriate form and in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.

WHST-9.2d: Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic and convey a style appropriate to the discipline and context as well as to the expertise of likely readers.

School of Athens – A Forbidden Books Online Installation

For the first Forbidden Books Project, GCE Sophomores investigated the following guiding question:

How can I become a gadfly? 

Here’s the scenario students were challenged with:

Socrates believed that the unexamined life is not worth living. Inspired by this belief, your local library is hosting a day dedicated to Socrates, in which eternal concepts or ideas are presented through Socratic dialogues. All applicants must submit a video entry to be considered to present at Socrates Day.

Please find our students in the School of Athens painting to the right to listen to their Apology speeches, inspired by The Apology of Socrates.

Alignment with Common Core Standards

Writing:Text Types and Purposes:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1a Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1b Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.

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.W.9-10.3a Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3b Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3c Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3e Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative.

Writing: Production and Distribution
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. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grades 9–10 here.).

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.

Stories: An integrated, project-based high school class

Stories

How are journeys shared? Stories have traveled through time, oral tradition, books, and art. The stories that reach us create a relationship with our ancestors, to civilizations that are long gone, and to heroes that still inspire us today. These stories contain lessons, offering new perspectives and wisdom. By reading, listening, and watching, you will gain insights into the world—past and present, conscious and unconscious.

Forbidden Books: An integrated, project-based high school class

Forbidden Books

Why have books been forbidden throughout history? In this course, you will explore why certain books and ideas have been considered dangerous or threatening throughout history, focusing on 3 themes: politics, dogma, and diversity. In each unit, you will read original texts to understand, through the study of each text’s historical context, why its central themes were considered dangerous at the time of writing—and beyond.

Drama: An ISS and English High School Course

Drama

From ancient times, theater has provided an opportunity for communities to stage their challenges and rehearse ways of facing them. The Drama course provides an opportunity to study the history of theater through the lens of gender equality and how social roles have evolved across time and space. In 3 units, each analyzing a different play, students will be challenged to write a monologue, dialogue, and a traditional chorus that explores gender relations and students’ own roles in society.

drama

Shakespearean Sonnets- A Drama Online Installation

For the Drama Course, GCE Sophomores investigated the following guiding question:

How would you give advice as a sonnet?

Here’s the scenario students were challenged with:

Chicago Shakespeare Theater started a public call for reviving the sonnet as a poetic form. They posted an open invitation to High School students from around the world to write a sonnet addressing any character created by Shakespeare. The sonnet needs to describe the character, as well as advise him/her on how to deal with a social or gender issue they are facing in their dramatic world.

Please read and click on different parts of the sonnet below to see the poets perform their sonnet. Write your own sonnet in response to any gender inequalities you see around you and leave it as a comment.

Alignment with Common Core Standards

Reading Standards for Literature

RL 7.5: Analyze how a drama’s or poem’s form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning.

RL-11-12.3: Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

RL-11-12.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)

RL-11-12.7: Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text. (Include at least one play by Shakespeare and one play by an American dramatist.)

RL-11-12.10: By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 11–CCR text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

Writing Standards

W.9-10.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects

WHST-9.1a: Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.
a. Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among the claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

WHST-9.1: Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying data and evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both claim(s) and counterclaims in a discipline-appropriate form and in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.

WHST-9.2d: Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic and convey a style appropriate to the discipline and context as well as to the expertise of likely readers.

School of Athens – a Forbidden Books Online Installation

For the first Forbidden Books Project, GCE Sophomores investigated the following guiding question:

How can I become a gadfly? 

Here’s the scenario students were challenged with:

Socrates believed that the unexamined life is not worth living. Inspired by this belief, your local library is hosting a day dedicated to Socrates, in which eternal concepts or ideas are presented through Socratic dialogues. All applicants must submit a video entry to be considered to present at Socrates Day.

Please find our students in the School of Athens painting below to listen to their Apology speeches, inspired by The Apology of Socrates.

Alignment with Common Core Standards

Writing:Text Types and Purposes:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1a Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1b Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.

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.W.9-10.3a Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3b Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3c Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3e Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative.

Writing: Production and Distribution
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. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grades 9–10 here.).

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.

Creation Stories – A Stories Online Installation

For the second Stories Action Project, GCE Sophomore students investigated the following guiding question:

How do you visualize stories of creation? 

Here’s the scenario students were challenged with:

Creation lies at the beginning of everything that exists in the world. Everything is created, right now, a long long time ago, or some time in between. The creation of the world is the focus of a debate that has been going on since time immemorial. The creation of You is something that you might be able to discover. For this action project, we are going to channel a creation into a visual story. You will select one of the Stories of Creation you read in this Unit and turn this story into a Cosmic Strip. 

Please find below the online installation we created, featuring the Cosmic Strip created by each student. Please click the on the different characters and elements in the Creation Story below to view the Cosmic Strips.