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Upper El (4/18-22): Auctions, Stories & "Rubes"

Welcome back from Spring Break, everyone! It has been a fun week with most of our attention on getting things ready for next week's Art Auction.

First, though, we started the week making strides on our story project. Rather than write another weekly story, we will write one long story to end the year. Students are aiming for a five-chapter story. To start this, we are spending time outlining.

We went over a typical five-act structure for stories and how those parts start and end. With that in mind, students created a brain dump of all their ideas. Things they want to happen, that could happen, and any other details they could think of. Then, it was time to outline.

This time, we're not writing our stories until we have a structured outline. This will make the writing process easier, but it's hard work at first. Reading each student's outline, it's truly amazing how deeply they imagine worlds, characters, and plots. I think the final products will be great!

On Tuesday afternoon, we also took some time to imagine and make plans for our final engineering project. We're not ready to build things yet, but this last project will take some planning and foresight before jumping into putting things together. We're making Rube Goldberg machines with a Body Systems twist.

Students have to create a machine or system that takes things through the six categories for the different body systems, like how a body needs to have ways to fuel itself with energy. So, for the engineering project, they could create a pulley system to lift a ball to the top of a ramp, giving it energy and covering that category. I've shared ideas for all the categories, but most have come up with their own methods. These will be fun to put into action!

As I started, we also spent a good amount of time working on our group and individual projects for the coming Art Auction. They're looking so good, and this group is truly taking great pride in their pieces.

Friday ended with another excellent Master Class presentation and Earth-Day-inspired art for Peace Circle (thanks to Ms. Shannon for leading that!).

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