One Thing

One Thing 2010

I recently showed my 8th graders a photography project by Susan Mullally entitled, “What I Keep”.  This photo essay collection sparked a discussion about what we value most.  I asked them all to bring in one thing that they would keep if they could only keep one thing.  It could be symbolic, real, or a photo.  I brought in a jar of sea glass that my gram and I had collected throughout my childhood.  Inside is a card that reads:

Dear Megan,

This shell and sea glass collection is now yours.  I treasure the memory of the happy days we spent together collecting them on the shore of Ship Ahoy beach.

Happy Birthday

Love Gram

We talked about the fact that it is not about the object, but the memories that were created around the object.  Today they brought in their objects and I photographed them by the beloved “Winnie the Pooh” tree on our campus.  I loved seeing what they brought in and hearing the stories that came with it.  I also loved showing my students how one thing and one picture can tell a story without one word.

12 thoughts on “One Thing

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  2. Hattie DeRaps

    Hm. How can I change this to fit with my seniors who are leaving me (sniff, sniff) in less than 2 months? Thanks for starting a thought process. I’ll let you know if I do anything with this! I love the no-talk, no words aspect of this project.

    1. mrspal1 Post author

      Thanks Hattie.
      What if you did one thing they would remember from your class? It could be a novel, a poem, something they wrote, said, or did… Or it could be broader…the one book that they found valuable in their high school years? The options are limitless…but of course you know I’ll go right to the language artsy stuff!! Keep me posted if you do anything with it!

    1. mrspal1 Post author

      I know, Doug…it was so sweet watching the boys bring in their blankies or stuffies and having no problem being able to be photographed with it in front of their peers! Those are some awesomely confident kids! I’m getting them printed today so they can put them in their “identity portfolios” that they are putting together for me with all of the pieces that we’ve done this year that revolve around the question: Who am I? This is the first year that I’m having my students create them, and I’m really excited to see how they turn out!!

  3. Amanda

    I love this project, especially since it gives a brief but meaningful look into a student’s life! I intend to try it this fall with my middle schoolers. I truly enjoy your blog–you have wonderful ideas for the middle grades! Thank you for sharing!

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  5. Jeannine

    I LOVE this idea. It totally would be the most amazing start to my “show don’t tell unit”. Have you read the book “Wilfred Gordon MacDonald Partridge”? It’s on youtube, someone reads it. It would go perfect with this unit.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Grade 6 Teacher
    Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada

    1. mrspal1 Post author

      Thanks for stopping by, Jeannine.
      I have never heard of that book, so I just listened to it here: It is IDEAL for my unit. I’m starting this project with this year’s class on Monday and I will be using this book! Thanks for sharing it with me.
      :o) Megan

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