Boys, mental health, footy and getting the conversations started.
Recently I have been working to curate resources for local high school staff to help them access and use up to date, engaging, real life content and digital tools to enhance their learning and teaching practice. Working with teachers to look at what next in terms of content and topics a young male teacher spoke of wanting to use his Year 7 English and Humanities classes to explore mental health - though he was not sure where to start or even if this was suitable. This teacher wanted to take all the boys whilst another teacher took all the girls for a series of workshops. Part 1 of the journey involved curating some resources suitable for 12 year old males to get the thinking rolling. So we started with the recent Mitch Clark, AFL player for Geelong Cat's. Clark quit football in 2014 struggling with depression but has returned. It was reported that in April 2015, Clark received on field sledging in relation to his mental health. We used the connect - extend - challenge scaffold for our planning.
Using the Learni.st board (now deleted) we set out a series of videos, Instagram posts, news articles and other relevant resources that the students can explore. They can target a media and lens to look at the issue from based on personal interest. The students could pick 3 resonating images, words or statements and add them to the class padlet anonymously.
Using the anonymous, resonating ideas from the connect phase teachers can build the next phase of the learning - in this case it pointed us in the direction of what mental health actually was - and why is was viewed as it was in media and sport. Following a class circle time discussion with the class split into 2 smaller sub groups (with norms decided by the group, see left), the students could develop an exploration based on a connect idea that resonated with them. They then create an infographic using Piktochart that summarised their findings and post these online for an e walk and gawk feedback loop. Piktochart is free (limited projects) and helps students organise visual information. A time frame of 70 minutes to do this works well if they are only required to use one source. See an example to the right.
The final phase to share with the learners is the challenge stage - in this case they will be working in teams to explore an initiative or part of one that targets mental health in schools and they will be responsible for working to making it visible and alive in the school. This section is still in development but stay tuned!
Some groups are already exploring the resources at;
Empower all voices in the class - #onebeautifulthought
Sharing and discussing a topic, an idea, a piece of inspiration can be tricky with 24+ students - all with unique opinions and personal learning styles. Some students throve in class discussions, others hesitate, some disengage and there are those so disinterested they can not add to the conversation at this point in time. Furthermore some of the most engaging and provoking resources can make the teacher or students uncomfortable, may challenge us in unexpected ways or may require time and space to reflect on. Why not use some savvy tech to help!
Dove has long been known for its hard hitting, provocative advertising campaigns. "The aim of the campaign is to celebrate the natural physical variation embodied by all women and inspire them to have the confidence to be comfortable with themselves." ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dove_Campaign_for_Real_Beauty, 4 April 2015) To use these to create discussion and prompt thinking can be challenging. So to help I want to show you how to create a space for conversation using free, online technology Padlet based on the Dove #onebeautifulthought campaign
Read and understand - together
Providing engaging, real world and challenging texts for readers can be a monumental task - how do you provide something for everyone - the strugglers, the creative thinkers, the bored, the high achievers, the under the radars and the list goes on?! What about every so often tackling a challenging, provoking, imaginative or optimistic or funny reading together using technology to empower learners of all sorts using Diigo.
Suitable for: VCE, males & females
Brief Study Design links:
English & EAL - AOS 2 in Units 1, 2 & 3
Global Politics - AOS 1 in Unit 1
What makes it empowering:
Rad skills also fostered: empowers readers with metacognition strategies to problem solving understanding roadblocks, lends itself nicely to reflection, provides challenge in terms of vocabulary and content and is grounded in real life.