Mockingjay pin - The Hunger Games
I went back to Waiau Pa School today to work with the team on their Hunger Games fan fiction project. You may well remember that we planned this two term long unit last term and today was my first visit back.
As this is week 5 of the term I was very excited to get back into school to see how far the students and the teachers had progressed. I was initially a little dismayed to discover that this week has been their first week of work on the project. The teachers have spent a long time in the intervening period convincing their team leader that this project had validity. To their credit they stuck to their guns, addressed all the reservations that their team leader had raised and finally got the green light. This process has not jaded their enthusiasm for the project but on the contrary has made them more passionate about it. We spent the first session of the day, reviewing where they had got to in the plan, (chapter 4 of the book) and then I helped them to flesh out the writing elements of the plan. They had sorted out the reading part. In the middle block of the day I then worked in the classes to start to get the project off of the ground and enthuse the students in the project. They did not need any additional input from me, these students are completely into this project.
We will be writing our own fan fiction novel and publishing it on the fan fiction site and using the work already published up there not only as a resource for lessons content on editing and positive feedback, but as a space to publish draft chapters and get genuine feedback from a huge peer audience. This project will be a genuinely collaborative project between classrooms, but already these teachers are talking about repeating this exercise but with classes from other parts of the country or globe, interested? You can follow how the project is evolving on their wiki and also checking in here over the next few months. Below are a couple of videos from today showing how the students are starting their planning for their own fan fiction novel. They will be following the events of the first novel through the eyes of Gale. We await their interpretation with interest.
The teachers at Waiau Pa will be presenting on this project and its impact upon writing attainment and student engagement at Ulearn 12 in October, I will be there to offer moral support and chip in if they want me to!