Looking for a quick and easy way to engage your students in critical thinking skills like (speaking technically here) separating relevant from irrelevant information, compare & contrast thinking, and probably a whole lot more in terms of standards?
I give you: the listicle.
Perhaps you haven’t come across this idea before – I hadn’t… I hope this post is useful for you in your context.
Here it is:
(For context, my class has just finished reading The Martian by Andy Weir and watching the associated Ridley Scott film).
I called the assignment “Top 10 Ways Mark Watney Escaped Death (You’ll Never Believe What Happens Next!)”
The What, Who, and How of the listicles one-hour project:
|What?||Create a listicle… list and describe the “Top 10 Ways Mark Watney Escaped Death”. In this listicle, you’ll be listing… you guessed it – the ways that were the coolest, smartest, most awesome ways that Mark Watney escaped dying on Mars (or near it). Share some of your ideas with Ms. Gray, who will be with you on this class day. If you’re working solo from home (as there’s no zoom today), we can talk about your list on another day. What’s a listicle? Well, I’m glad you asked. This video shows what a listicle is and shows what the target for this assignment will be.|
|Who?||You may work with a partner. In fact, I encourage it! However, if you are unproductive in this time, neither will earn credit today, but you will be required to complete the learning task for assessment at a later time and manner of Mr. Capone’s choosing.|
|How?||While you’re working, be entertaining and be entertained! (Example: As long as the titles of list items are accurate for their purpose, you can get goofy with them.) You have two options for what tools to use to build this assignment: (1) Google Docs (2) Google Slides By the end of class, submit the link to your completed work. Even if you think you have more to do, submit what you’ve got when class ends. Don’t work on it over the weekend unless you love the project. Remember! Put your work in your “Unit: The Martian” subfolder within your 6th Grade Humanities folder.|
I’m sure this assignment could be fixed `n fiddled with to get the right setup for your own context: Top 10 Worst Mistakes Napoleon Made, Top 10 Cultural Facts about Japan, Top 10 Key Steps in the Fall of Ancient Rome… you get the idea. And it could be made even more fun with the addition of an artsy component (though beware having students do lengthy artistic projects when that’s not a thing you’re assessing – we don’t want to waste your time or theirs.)
Try this idea, and share with us how it goes for you! As always, you can find me by posting here or by sending a note @CaponeTeaches on Twitter.