Epic Holocaust Writing Project #5 #engchat

This is the fifth of several posts that will talk about an epic Holocaust writing project that we are embarking on.  Too much for just one post, so enjoy.  Click here to read the previous post.


To recap…

My students had the chance to Skype with the 8th grade class in Muscatine.  We felt like we got some essential questions answered, and now we were ready to really spread the word!

Spread it Like Wildfire

The students came up with a few different ways to get people in the community to donate:
  1. Collection jugs set up in area businesses.
  2. Send letters to other businesses asking for a donation.
  3. Sell wristbands that read “100 SOULS HONORED” for $1.00.
To spread the word about these options to donate as well as our cause, students came up with several different methods (click on each to see a video)…
  1. Press Release
    • Two students worked together to write an article for the local paper.  They even emailed the Editor and asked for some help!  The Editor was glad to come in.
  2. Radio Ad
    • Two students scripted a radio commercial and recorded it.  They emailed the owner of the local radio station and had it aired a few times a day for a week.
  3. Bracelets
    • Three students designed silicone bracelets and got price quotes.  They discovered a website that allowed them to buy 100 for $50 and get another 100 free!  The bracelets arrived early and will be sold for a $1.00 each at school.
  4. Posters
    • Several students designed posters and asked to hang them up in the window of area businesses.
  5. Letters to Businesses
    • Four students used Google Docs to draft one letter to area businesses asking for a donation.  They tailored the greeting to each business.  If a business donates, they get their picture taken saying how many souls they are honoring.  Those pictures end up on the website.
  6. Website (www.1penny1soul.com)
  7. The ad that appeared at the local movie theater
    before the previews.
    • One student is in the process of working with a graphic designer on designing a website using either Google Sites or WordPress.  The website should be coming in the next week.
  8. Promo Video
    • One group produced a script and storyboard to create a promo video about the project.
  9. Movie Theater Ad (see picture)
  10. Parade
    • The timing of this project was perfect for our local St. Patrick’s Day parade.  They created posters and designed the layout for our part of the parade.  A picture of them even ended up in the paper!  We had some students taking donations from the crowd while others passed out 200 flyers with information.
      This picture ended up in the local paper.
  11. Special Days
      A collection jug is set up
      at the local coffee shop.
    • Here at school, two students came up with special days for all students to participate in, including Sunglasses Day, iPod Permission Day, and Hat Day.  For each day, any student that wants to be permitted to participate, must pay $1.00.  The two students even had to talk with the principal to get these days ok’d.
  1. Collection Jugs (see picture)
    • I spoke with the local Culligan dealer to see if we could use 10 empty jugs for our collection at businesses.  He agreed.  A handful of students then had to create posters to put with each jug.
  2. YouTube Channel
    • I, myself, wanted to capture our progress for my own purposes.  But one student recommended creating a YouTube channel to show everyone else what we’re doing.  The videos then can be spread through Facebook and Twitter.

A Bump vs. a Dead End

All of these methods were student driven.  I only assisted as a last resort if they absolutely needed help. They way I explained it to the students, “If you hit a bump in the road, Google it.  If you hit a complete dead end, ask me.”  We talked about the difference and why it’s important in a project like this that they develop independence and responsibility in completing tasks.  

Final Thoughts

As of right now, all publications are out, our website is in the works, and the YouTube channel is up.
The students and myself look forward to the results come April 22nd.
If you would like to donate or purchase wristbands, please email me at jbormann@central.k12.ia.us.

In my next post, I will be sharing how I went about assessing a project like this.  After all, academics need to be at the forefront of all projects within the class.

Mr. Bormann
English Rocks!

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