the very beginning of the year, we have been exploring relationships to place,
through maps of summer, to our favorite places in the arboretum and
letterboxing to the imaginative world of Wildwood.
of the larger questions that have been guiding our work include:
- How do emotional connections inspire curiosity about what sustains life
in a place?
- How might investigating relationships between the human and natural
world within our city help us to uncover interdependent relationships?
recently, we have begun a community game in which each child is a character who
lives, works or plays within a defined area of the metro region. These regions include:
Children spent much of last week playfully getting to know their characters, through dialogue, sketching and drama. Not only did they explore their individual characters but also their relationship to each other while creating family portraits.
Urban Farm Family
Industrial Area Family
Inner City Family
Through the game, children will work together to solve problems and investigate current metro issues.
As teachers we wonder how taking on the role of a character might encourage children to view metro issues from diverse perspectives. How might this experience help children to uncover complexities within issues of land use, interdependence and sustainability?
your child’s backpack you will find some basic character information as well as
your child’s initial wonderings about getting to know this character. We encourage you to take time over the
weekend to connect with your child around this work. Our hope is for everyone to build their background understanding and explore what a day in the
life of these characters might be like.
homework may take many creative forms but here are some possibilities to get
- Share your personal experiences,
connections or mental images of your child’s character. For example, for characters within the
urban farm, you may recall your own experience of picking produce or visiting a
farm stand (sights, sounds, tastes, etc.) on Sauvie’s Island. You might think aloud about life as a
third generation farmer on the island- what changes may your family have
witnessed over time? What crops
might you grow?
- Together you might interview friends
or family with knowledge about a character’s field of expertise. For example, together make a list of questions might
you ask to find out more about the roles and responsibilities of a neighborhood
association director? What issues
matter to the neighborhood?
- Think together about a character’s
relationship to a place. What
might draw a particular character to live, work or play in a place? What might that character value about
that place? What issues might they
care about? Why might an artist
choose to live and work in a loft in the industrial area? How might an urban planner feel about
residential or industrial development within the city?
- Visit a place that your child’s
character might live, work or play.
Spend some time observing
and taking notes. What are people
doing? How do they interact with
each other and with the place?
- Collect background information about
a particular place, person or occupation through internet research, newspapers
- Role play an interview with your child
as his or her character.
know this homework assignment will play an essential role in the development of
your child’s character.
of time: at least 30 minutes to
- Written Assignment: Half
page to full page of character notes, background information or interviews
(full sentences or bullets). You may also include sketches.
- Due Date: Tuesday, April