Students recently participated in their first performance task of the school year. As you may have seen in the attachment, students were given a series of tasks to complete using a piece of chart paper or poster board. These tasks were incredibly valuable in our conclusion of the mini unit because they required students to internalize the content we have covered over the past 15 instructional days by making connections to their personal lives.
My favorite aspect of this performance task was the Survey of Learning questions. Students selected six of the ten questions to answer and used their answers to design their own identity charts. What was the outcome? Students created complex identity charts that soared beyond surface level characteristics and unveiled some of their deepest thinking. Many of them made connections to moments of privilege and oppression in their own lives while others focused on social identity categories and stereotypes.
With such high-quality work submitted, I decided to give students the opportunity to interact with various identity charts by participating in a gallery walk. They were truly pumped up for this! In fact, several students asked to take their projects back to revise or redesign them in preparation for the following day’s gallery walk!
At the beginning of class on the day of the gallery walk, students were given a graphic organizer that prompted them to visit ten different identity charts, identify what makes those students unique, and how those students can contribute to our collective goal – taking action in our community. During the gallery walk, students navigated freely from chart to chart, pausing to complete their written tasks, or encouraging their peers to visit an identity chart that resonated with them. So many students were engaged that I asked them to go a step further before heading back into the classroom by posting a blank sticky note on an identity chart that they would recommend to other classes.
To close out our first performance task, students wrote reflections on individuality in our classroom community as well as how our different experiences can help us all work toward a common goal.