Monday, September 20, 2010

The Gonzo Election Project

As I mentioned in a recent post, I have been collaborating with my fellow American Government teacher on an election project. We just launched this endeavor with our sophomores. It is both ambitious and unscripted. Indeed, we are placing a great deal of faith in our students' imaginations. If this faith is warranted the project could be really exciting.

Here's the plan: Each of our four classes (total) will divide up into project teams.

1) An Election News Feed team which will provide up-to-date election news.

2) A Michigan Election Information Team which will research the candidates and issues.

3) A Fantasy Presidential Campaign Team which will launch an imaginary candidate's quest for the White House.

4) A Mock Election Team which will devise a school mock election from scratch.

Now, here's the wildest feature: The project teams will be linked to their counterparts in the other three classes and must collaborate online to construct one central project.

Believe it or not, Cindy and I have pretty clear ideas as to how the individuals can be assessed in terms of their contributions. But we have no idea as to how the four sets teams will operate on their wiki sites. More later!


Blaise said...

How awesome that your students are collaborating "cross-classroom". (Did I just coin a new term?)

This project seems to give students a chance to utilize/learn real world skills. Learning to effectively communicate without the chance to talk face to face will definitely prepare students for a career in this tech world.

Why did you call it the Gonzo Election Project??

Larry Baker said...

Thanks, Blaise. I love "cross-classroom." On the other hand, "gonzo" is a little shaky to be sure. But in the "gonzo" literary tradition, 'fiction is often the best fact.' I'm a bit intoxicated by the idea of the students tracking the real election and inventing imaginary campaigns at the same time.

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