project based learning, engagement and collaboration

project based learning and engagement:  learning is a social activity

The class period was almost over as I walked into my UBC student teacher’s classroom to pick up a few files. I noticed that the LCD projector was showing one of the English 11 classes’ Macbeth skits again. Half the students were away on a ski field trip and the remaining students, after having completed their classroom work early, had asked her if they could watch the video.  I had left my computer hooked up to the LCD projector and they noticed their movie on my computer’s desktop. A smile spread across my face because I had an inkling that the request was two-fold: they wanted to relive the good times because they had fun writing, producing and showing their Macbeth skit (everyone in the class had a role in its production) and they wanted to show off to the new student teacher what they could do.

Each year I advertise in the student bulletin, the showing of each of my English 11 classes’ Macbeth skits at lunchtime. We meet over lunch in my classroom over a series of days until we’ve seen all the skits. The audience is primarily students from my blocks of English 11; however, I have had Grads who were in my classes the previous years come to sit in and watch the current Elevens’ skits. Inevitably, the Grads in the audience like to compare. They always ask me if I had saved their skits from last year so that they could watch it again. How could one whole-class activity continue to induce students to wax nostalgic many years after they have graduated from our school? How is it that this one project in the Grade 11 year consistently resonates with students into their graduating year and beyond?



About Cakebrain

A Vancouver English teacher preoccupied with cake... Reflecting about my learning as an educator. I am currently teaching English part time and also working part time at the Vancouver Board of Education as a Learning Technologies Mentor. This blog also contains an archive of my Concept Papers and Inquiry and Coaching Reflections (ICR) from my grad studies program at VIU (CIEL) You can follow my food and edu-tweets @Cakebrain My Class Wiki: My food blog is
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