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Staying engaged from home with project-based lessons


Distance learning lesson about cooking and recipes for Spanish classes.

Performing and recording an audio play. Creating hand-drawn endangered species stamps. Writing video reviews and recipes in Spanish. 

These are just some of the creative, project-based lessons Gibbons educators are doing to engage students in our new distance learning reality. The ultimate lesson, however, is that these uncertain times present challenges as well as opportunities for students and educators alike to learn and grow together.

During a traditional school year, Fine Arts Educator Emily Sartori '11 has her Drama lll and IV classes work together to perform plays, acting out their parts on stage. Now with social distancing and shelter in place orders the norm, she is offering a new opportunity to her students – performing and recording audio plays.

"Students in both Drama III and Drama IV are being challenged to build the world of the play solely with sound," Sartori explained. "They are relying on dialogue, music, and sound effects to engage the audiences' imagination. Without any visual components, the students have a chance to focus on their main tool as an actor- their voice- to convey message, meaning, and emotion to their audience."

Sartori will release weekly episodes of the plays to the Gibbons community. Here's the first one.    Enjoy.

World Languages Educator Kelly Damare also is offering her Spanish 3 Honors students a creative new project that she said combines all elements of language communication – reading, listening, writing, and speaking. "It's basically a project to celebrate the students' communication skills in Spanish," she added. 

Mexican vlogger Spanish students are viewing for a distance learning class.

Here is what Damare is asking her students to do: Read an article about a Mexican vlogger, answer questions embedded in the article, watch/listen to four of the vlogger's videos, write video reviews as well as a recipe in Spanish. Then there's a speaking component, which Damare noted comes in the form of a "Cooking Show" or "Show de Cocina." The students film themselves preparing their dishes while offering viewers step-by-step preparation instructions in SPANISH! 

Damare said she's excited to see the students' finished projects. "They have worked hard all year to develop their language proficiency, and this is a way for them to see their progress tangibly," she said. "Plus, I think it will be a lot of fun as well!"

Hand-drawn stamps of endangered animals for distance learning biology class.

Biology educator Tess Chugh's students also had fun with an endangered species stamp assignment. Chugh said the students researched an endangered species, including their dietary needs and natural habitat -  and created a hand-drawn postage stamp to bring awareness to that animal.  Then they presented their stamps via Flipgrid to share with their classmates.  


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