By Elyana Schosek
At Springville-Griffith Institute, there are always unique projects going on within the different classes. This is especially true in Diane Waterman’s Honors English 10 class. The group of sophomores has even been on two field trips to see plays.
Recently, the class had been given an assignment specifically catered to their interests.
It began with a whole class discussion of possible ideas for topics. They had just finished the book “All Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe. This introduced them to life in Southern Africa. They also had the concepts they had been studying in World History to think of.
Waterman encouraged the students to pick a topic they were interested in and wanted to research. She also gave them a lot of freedom to choose any form of writing they wanted — the more creative, the better.
Mikey Evans said that this project was unique because you were able to choose what you wanted to do for the project.
“We were able to do pretty much any topic and form that we wanted so it wasn’t boring,” Annemarie Harrigan said.
Sam Gottstine chose his topic to be apartheid in South Africa. This is when “blacks and whites are separated and the whites hold all the power/wealth but are a small fraction of the population,” he explained.
He decided to create a board game in which “you have to try and collect enough money to leave the country but situation cards take away certain amounts of money.”
A few groups even decided to make food for the class. Ben Sullivan and his group made North African meatballs along with creating a brochure.
“We got to make food that they make in Africa and try their cuisine,” he said. “We also saw things like their etiquette and what type of cooking styles they use.”
Jaime Dickinson and Melanie Barry also made food, choosing an African dessert called peppermint crisp fridge tart.
“I loved how we got to pick what our topic was,” Jamie said. “We totally hold control over what direction we wanted to go with it, how we wanted to research it, and what we wanted to know about it.”
Melanie mentioned that they also wrote a paper based off of their research.
Annemarie Harrigan, Olivia Giammarco and Nyah Solly decided to do a project on technology and its effects.
“We interviewed some people in the class with questions related to our topic then used those quotes and our own research to answer the questions,” Annemarie noted.
“I have never gotten the chance to do an interview and write about the things we saw and it was really interesting to see the differences and similarities in their answers,” said Olivia.
Nyah said that the project was interesting because it allowed them to look past the “negatives of technology and also understanding all the good it brings.” She also found it interesting to hear her classmates input on the topic.
Nathan Cudney and his partner, Jason Heiler, chose civil rights movements around the world as their topic. They decided to write a constitution.
“It is unique because the constitution will have many ciril rights incorporated into it,” Nathan mentioned.
Julie Bartoszek and myself choose to do our project on 20th century immigration to the United States.
“We made a website describing the push and pull factors of the immigrants and analyzed a variety of propaganda from that time,” Julie said. “We were able to choose from many different forms of writing, making the project more enjoyable and creative.”
Marin Lehr, Katelyn Mesch and Sara Ehlers did their project on toxic emotions and positivity and created an Instagram account.
Marin enjoyed the project and “being able to pick a topic that interests us and running with it to create something based off of our creativity.”
Keaton Wnuk decided to do his project on Brexit, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, in the form of a children’s book via powerpoint.
“The topic is what makes it interesting to me at least. It’s a current event and it could have a major impact on the world,” he said. “It’s also much more relatable than some of the other things I had in mind.”
After the students finished their projects, they presented them in the form of a Gallery Walk. All the projects were set up and they had time to look through them and give feedback to their peers.