In the beginning part of the year, I started collaborating with Jeff in Montana on a Gifted and Talented project, where middle school students undertook a unit on Utopia.
The study book was Animal Farm. We developed a series of activities to meet the standards, which ultimately had the goal of engaging students in creating their own original short stories that used themes taken from the book and other texts.
The project culminated in his students publishing their book online. The stories they created are excellent! Proving once again that students can be really amazing.
I was trapped. I reached the end of the long hallway, out of breath and scared out of my mind. They were coming after me, I could feel their presence. I knew I never should have spoken up. Now I was the enemy, and they were going to execute me.
Now the book is published, and what would be even more amazing for them, would be to see people actually buy it – outside of their class and parents.
You can preview the entire book online; and have a browse though their work. Imagine telling middle-school kids that in a few weeks they are going to publish a 10,000 world novel!
Watching the clock definitely didn’t make school go by any faster, if anything it just dragged it out. Waiting for the bell to ring was like watching grass grow. My teacher seemed indifferent to our suffering, as she squeezed everything she could out of her lesson to make it last until the very last second. Please let something interesting happen, I thought. All I need is a little explosion, that’s all. It was as if the sky read my thoughts.
So consider buying it – or at least reading a few stories and leaving them a comment.
It costs under AU$40.00 (less with the discount of $10!) and will make a great resource for anyone teaching Animal Farm and interested in creative writing.
As a bonus (bribe), we’ll give you the entire unit so you can teach it.
This includes a series of lessons, writing tasks and the theory behind how it was designed – (as the project is founded more in games archtypes than Blooms). Even more tempting, we’ll work with you online so you can ask questions. We’d love to see the project grow.
If you put the following code in at the appropriate time and you will receive a $10.00 discount. Click here to buy the kids book and preview their work.
$10.00 off discount code = eduCreateQ31
I have to thank my friends Angela and Kerry for their help in this project, their advice was invaluable (again) – and a massive thanks to the students for their enthusiasm and creativity.
This project has become a significant influence on my project with Jo Kay in Jokaydia Grid – Animal Farm 3D, where we are taking this from two dimensions to three, as a transmedia project. Creating a world for students to learn is no small task and really has taken a year to get to the point where we have started the design and development of the world – and the supporting documents needed to teach and learn with it. This will be ready in late June. The final project will allow schools to drop students into a secure, private, immersive work, explore a new narrative and ultimately create their own writing.
But right now – if you scrape up some money and want to grab a great unit of work at the same time … then click the link!
6 thoughts on “Tales of Utopia”
To the Utopian Crew
Now this is what I call learning. Learning that is rich, relevant and obviously something the talented authors could (and wanted) to get their teeth into. So cool. Well done Dean, Jeff and every individual who added their stories and contributions. Plus what great team work and collaboration. Yeah .. it’s your stories based on your learning that you are sharing with us. That means a lot. I agree, students are amazing. I get my 8 and 9 year old students to write novels – done in small memo books. They love it and get so involved. I can only imagine how exciting it must be to be involved in such a creative project as Tales of Utopia. I can’t wait to buy the book and see your project grow as other teachers share the unit of work with their students. The possibilities are endless. Taking it to a virtual 3D world is both logical and inspirational. I will help in anyway I can. Congratulations everyone. Cheers, Al
This is very inspirining, Dean! Will buy one this afternoon!
thanks, if you want me to come talk/show at your school – I do drive.
No, for environmental reasons you stay put!
That’s Amazing! 😉
No seriously, it is amazing. Great project and a terrific way of bringing it into the real world with a real audience.
Thanks Chris, I can’t work in my backyard – but in Montana, there is wide open space it seems
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