Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Project W Reflections

A Reflection on The Bible - Wordled 7th Grade Version

I use wordle (www.wordle.net) in my classroom a lot!   My 7th graders and I were using it one day in class and one student blurted out - “We should Wordle the Bible!”  That’s how it all started.  We got to talking, planning and all of sudden we had a 5 month project on our hands.    After much discussion and brainstorming about the content and form we settled on a wordle for each book of the Bible with an accompanying devotion.  We decided that each devotion would have a summary of the book, some key memory verses for the book, a personal reflection on the wordle itself, an explanation of where Christ can be found in the book, some reflection questions and a prayer. 

The 23 seventh graders each worked on at least two books of the Bible.  They researched the books using websites like www.biblegateway.com .  Next I created a Google doc with a template for the students  with all the necessary parts.  We also invited guest authors: our two pastors and school principal.  Our original thought process was to have guest authors from Lutheran schools around the country.  However, since we also decided to turn this into a school auction project, we thought it best to keep it all Abiding Savior authors.  Each student used www.biblegateway.com and copy and pasted the NIV version of their books into a Google doc and then into wordle. 

After each student did their research, we started to write.  This process was similar to a normal English class writing process.  They wrote and edited their devotions.  Once they had their rough draft written and edited, I sat down with each student and went through their devotion with them.  I was able to help them articulate some thoughts, guide them when they were struggling and polish the writing.   From there we put all their writing into a Microsoft Word document, because I find formatting with text and pictures easier than Google Docs.  Once it was edited, we turned it in to a PDF and used www.issuu.com to create an online magazine.  Wordling the entire Bible and separate testaments was not too hard because we already had all the text in the individual docs, so we copied and pasted it into a word document and then into wordle. 

The process was a long one, but I am very happy with the many positive outcomes.  My 7th graders really took pride in their piece and the project as a whole.  They learned many things about their book in the research/writing process, in editing others’ writing and in our use of it as a devotional book in class.  Hopefully the online version gets some readership and others faith lives can be strengthened a little.   

The Online version of Project W can be seen at: http://issuu.com/sakerson/docs/project_w_web_edition/1

Student reflections on Project W can be seen at www.kidblog.org/mra7.