Gifts of Writing Mini-Interviews
Students are given 10 minutes to tell a story about something that has challenged them based on one of the following prompts: Tell a story of a time you struggled and how you got through it? What three things make up your identity? Why? They then have their partner tell a story about something that has challenged them based on these two prompts in exchange. The students are then asked to remix the story in a way that is meaningful to them as a gift to the storyteller. The students may draw or write but should be encouraged to positively reflect on the stories their partner has shared. These gifts of writing are then exchanged.
What is the Objective?
To share a part of yourself with someone new, to learn about other struggles and the struggles you share.
ULLG: Cultural understanding and effective communication
CCSS: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
Why is This Important?
This activity encourages students to share a part of themselves and in return be recognized for their bravery and honesty through the gift of attention.
This activity is a part of the Diversity in the Making workshop as part of the Beyond Insights workshop series. This workshop seeks to offer all students participating a chance to understand the uniqueness of their own and others’ Diversity. Students engage in an assortment of creative, collaborative projects, ranging across a variety of media to surface their commonly shared struggles, languages and cultural assets.
The workshop’s guiding question is:
How do we come to create together a classroom and a school climate where all of us matter and are valued equally?
What Do I Need?
Paper, pens or pencils, markers or drawing utensils
This activity was created and run as a part of the Beyond Insights workshop series. The series, done in partnership with the Creative Exploratory at Michigan State University, brings 100 Lansing 6th graders to MSU’s campus one day a week for five weeks to encourage students to explore creativity, innovation, arts, and culture. The experience also encourages students to interact with the local university community and consider college as an option after high school. Students work with MSU Faculty, Creative Exploratory Fellows, the MSU Writing Center, and the MSU Center for Language Teaching Advancement in order to build a holistic understanding of creativity through design and communication, storytelling in writing and video, culture and identity, and digital media. All of the activities were created and run by preservice teachers and MSU faculty with the input of the students’ classroom teachers. More information about the workshop can be found at the link below.