By Foyn McDevitt
We start out with a three part assignment that will help the students define themselves. They were asked to consider their actual, ideal, and perfect day. Secondly, they had to write a letter to a grandson or granddaughter, and finally draw a picture of what they think they will look like at either 43, 63, or 73 year of age.
The first exercise, has three pie charts. Their actual day as it unfolds, then their ideal day and then their perfect day. I try to convince the classes that to simply divide their perfect or ideal day in half and just put sleep and video gaming is not realistic. I want them to think more openly, but if that is their ideal or perfect day, then so be it. Their average day must include all of their responsibilities as well.
The letter is explaining their younger days and letting their grandchildren know how they grew up. The last part of the assignment is to draw a picture of how the students think their future will turn out. The students can share this work with their group members and, if they want, the class. This is both an ice breaker and a great way for the students to introduce themselves to each other and me. It also gets them to start thinking about the present near future and distant future. I also do one, but I'm old and boring yet the students get a charge out of my view. My being involved is important to let them know I am in the class to learn as well. I am not the oracle of knowledge ready to pour wisdom in their ear but to guide them to information and let them decipher it as they see the need.
This assignment gets the groups to realize each member is not that much different and the group may have more in common than they think! So when the groups start on their sculptures they are a little more open and willing to listen to other ideas.