Jaime Patterson | December 2016
Celebrating the Season
The holiday season highlights the many traditions and cultures in our great nation, and as a high school teacher, the last couple months have opened an even greater need to foster trust and acceptance among our students as we begin celebrating the season.
As educators, we are all too familiar with the craziness of the month of December. It is right before a large break, students and teachers alike are exhausted, and the excitement of the season creates a palpable energy that is impossible to contain. It is always my advice to plan opportunities for students to design and create during this time of year. It gives them the chance to practice their skills and knowledge in tangible self-chosen ways. This way we can encourage their energy instead of stifling it.
It is important that we not only design ways to foster student creativity and choice, but also cultivate trust and acceptance during this time of year.
Today we have designed two performance tasks that are great for students to learn, cultivate, and celebrate the many traditions of their peers during this holiday season. Each task has a design component, data collection, and written proposal that incorporates creation, rationale/justification, and writing composition. These tasks are designed for secondary students but can be revised for younger students.
Performance Task Snapshots
Performance Task 1 has students interview family and friends to design a retail store window display that highlights and celebrates the various traditions of the season.
Performance Task 2 has students interview family and friends to design a company holiday party that highlights and celebrates the various traditions of the season.
Each performance task comes complete with the scenario, task components, interview charts, and rubrics.