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The Masco Messenger

The Masco Messenger


Completed project by Sam Richardson
Completed project by Sam Richardson

  All sophomores taking an English 10 class were faced with an interesting final project that explores students’ creativity and perception of the novels they’ve read this year. 

  The overarching question that the students tried to answer this year was, “How do individuals establish a positive relationship with their community?” For the project, students were asked to try and innovatively answer this question using the books they’ve read through English 10. 

 Sophomores have read books like The Glass Castle, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Black Cake, A Catcher in the Rye, Othello, and A Raisin in the Sun.   

  The task for every student was to come up with a slogan of no more than ten words that displays the answer to the question of how do individuals establish a positive relationship with their community. After finding a slogan, the students must come up with a symbol for each book they’ve read and under it explain how it connects to the slogan in two sentences. 

  Many students preferred this creative project over any final tests or quizzes.

  “It allows students to be creative rather than just responding with facts about books we’ve read. They think about how the books connect and represent that in a visual, unique way and that has a lot more potential to be a meaningful learning experience for students,” said tenth grade English teacher Jenny Hinson. 

  The project has been a hit in prior years and the decision to continue it was an easy one.

  “We’ve done this project for three years and all the tenth grade English teachers do it, but we teach a few different texts, so there is variation there, but with all the same requirements,” said Hinson. 

  Some students put lots of effort into this project providing really strong symbols and deep meaning as one student used the symbol of a Jackie Robinson jersey to represent racial discrimination for one of the main characters of Black Cake.

  “Byron is a minority in his field of science where black people are not very predominant, especially oceanography to be more specific. To be honest, I am a big baseball fan and when I thought of a black person who had to deal with discrimination in their field of work, I thought of Jackie Robinson because he’s one of the more iconic barrier breakers of all time and I know that he faced a lot of discrimination but didn’t let the discrimination derail his passion for baseball and obviously he had a lot of success in that,” said sophomore Alex Barrera. 

 Different aspects of the project can be challenging, but the most difficult part for students seemed to be finding a slogan that summed up the answer to the overarching question and connected with each symbol.

  “The thing I found most challenging about this project was to come up with a good slogan. There were a lot of good slogans that I had in my mind but I couldn’t find one that related to all my symbols and it was very troublesome to be able to find a slogan that was original enough that could also relate back to my symbols,” said sophomore Charlie Francis. 

  The question of “How do individuals establish a positive relationship with their community” is building off of freshman year’s which was “Who am I and how do I know.” The school is hoping that now students have not only a deeper understanding of themselves but how to make a positive impact in their community.

   “We pick the books to support the essential question and basically we want to build off of the one from ninth grade where you were working on your relationship with yourself and then getting into tenth grade we want students to start thinking about, once people figure out who they are, how can they make a positive relationship with the community. You can’t have a positive relationship with the community until you figure out who you are,” said Hinson.

  Many students enjoy doing a project over a final test especially when they get to put their creativity on display. This project not only reflects on what students learned from the books this year, but also what lessons and themes they took out of it expressed by their slogans and symbols. 




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