Student Projects

Seedfolks

Author: Cady Staff

Grade: 8th

Subjects: Biology, Humanities

Students holding their clipboards, the wall display behind them is covered by clipboards
final seedfolks garden sign with text
final seedfolks garden sign
Students decorating seedling pots
Two students outside holding their plantings
Students working outside sitting a long picnic table
Students sitting for photo
Book cover: Where We're From

SEEDFOLKS PROJECT was a collaborative project between the 4th graders and 8th graders at HTe and HTMCV.  Together, the 8th graders and 4th graders planted positive seeds of school culture, both literally in the garden and figuratively in the hallways of our new shared school building.  We also wrote and shared “Where I’m From” poems as we looked back to where we came from, while continuing our journey growing, together. SEEDFOLKS PROJECT was the kick-off project for our first class of 8th graders at High Tech Middle Chula Vista. As 8th grade role-models and founding members of our K-8, we had a great opportunity to set up a culture of mentoring. The 8th graders and 4th graders partnered up as buddies to read and discuss Seedfolks (the novel) together. We also planted seeds in the garden together, as we simultaneously planted positive seeds of our new school culture.  Also, the 4th graders and 8th graders wrote and shared poetry with each other in the style of George Ella Lyon’s “Where I’m From” poem. We shared where we have come from, individually, as we set out on the exciting journey of opening a new school, together.

Here is a Prezi.com introduction of the “Where I’m From” Clipboard Project: http://prezi.com/ef5f1smrg3hu/where-im-from-clipboard-project/

What does it mean to be a positive role model/ mentor?

 

How can we make connections within our community, especially between the middle school and elementary school?

 

How can we plant positive seeds of school culture together that will grow and flourish for years to come?

 

Where have each of us come from and how do our past experiences influence who we are, today?

 

How can discussing relationships between characters in literature help us build real-life relationships?

  • “Where I’m From” Poems (published in a book – Where We’re From: A Collection of Poems)
  • Outdoor learning space clipboards with our “Where I’m From” poems posted on our classroom wall
  • Hallway display of connections we have made between 8th grade/ 4th grade buddies to promote a culture of connection between the elementary and middle schools
  • Meaningful year-long mentoring relationships
  • A healthy garden (planted with plants and our favorite quotes from the novel)
  • A co-authored book published at the end of the year with 8th graders and 4th graders

Students will know:

  • How to plant and tend to lima beans in the school garden
  • About the structure of poetry (for example, the definition of a stanza)
  • How to use and identify sensory details and figurative language (such as similes and metaphors) in their writing

Students will understand:

  • How to be a positive role-model
  • What it means to mentor a younger student
  • The writing process and the importance of critique

Students will be able to:

  • Give kind, helpful and specific critique
  • Plant positive seeds of school culture and recognize their lasting impact
  • Connect with other students in the school
  • Reading and Discussing Literature
  • Applying the Habits of Mind (S.P.E.C.S.) – Significance, Perspective, Evidence, Connections and Supposition
  • Writing Poetry: using a model form and making it your own
  • Writing/ Revision/ Publishing Process
  • clipboard for each student
  • mod-podge
  • lima beans
  • school garden/ plot of land
  • watering can
Week # Project Task
1  Team-Building Make Connections with 4th Graders
2 – 3  Read/ Discuss Seedfolks (plant seeds in the classroom)
4 Plant lima bean seeds in the school garden/ Plant favorite quotes along with the seeds
5 Write/ Revise/ Peer Critique “Where I’m From” Poems
6 Publish “Where I’m From” Poems in a class book (published on www.lulu.com)
7 – beyond Continue Mentoring/ Peer Critiquing relationship between 4th/8th grade – co-author a book at the end of the year

“I really loved watching the 8th graders and 4th graders interact and make connections with each other. They took care of each other’s seeds and really supported each other around campus. I saw the students grow closer as they shared their “Where I’m From” poems, sharing stories of their lives and who they really are. As buddies with 4th graders and as an 8th grade class, we grew closer and began to a build a stronger sense of community and connection.”

– Cady Staff

“In the “Where I’m From” poems, we got to hear about really, really, really personal things – the inside jokes and about their families. I liked it because it made me feel like it was all about me and it made me feel like I had a past and that my life isn’t boring. It made me feel old, too.

During the 4th grade buddy program, it was fun to get to know other people in the school, especially the elementary school. It helped me to be a better citizen. I think it was cool to get to know my buddy, how they work and how they learn, individually. I don’t remember being that small. It was nice to remember that I was that size once.”

– Phyllis and Sarah