Snakes Are Born This Way: Illuminating Standards Video Series

Created By

EL Education

Topic

  • Arts Integration
  • Project-Based Learning
  • Student Work

Type

Videos

Grade Level

Discipline

Second grade students in Boston, MA created a professional-quality music video as a culmination of an interdisciplinary study of snakes. Their song, based on Lady Gaga’s hit “Born This Way,” was written by students, and the video became a viral phenomenon. This film features the video and gives the backstory of the video through an interview with the teacher. It focuses on two themes: how students overcome their fears, and how standards can be joined to discovery, joy, and beautiful work. Illuminates CCSS ELA standards W.2.7, W.2.1, W.2.2, W.2.3, W.2.5, W.2.8, W.2.6, (All of CCSS for Writing for second grade).

The Illuminating Standards Project 

In the last two decades of the ‘standards movement’ in American public education, many educators have concluded that ‘teaching to the standards’ and project-based learning are incompatible. Ron Berger (EL Education) and Steve Seidel (Harvard Graduate School of Education), co-directors of The Illuminating Standards Project, wondered if this conclusion was true. Indeed, they speculated that long-term, interdisciplinary, arts-infused, community-connected projects may well be one of the best ways to actually see what state standards look like when fully realized in the things students make in school—to make the standards visible.
Three questions frame the work of The Illuminating Standards Project:
~ What does it look like when state standards are met with integrity, depth, and imagination?
~ How can we use standards to open up and enrich curriculum, rather than narrow and constrain it?
~ How can we use student work to raise the level of our understanding of standards and our dialogue about them?


The Videos
Collaborating with Berger and Seidel on The Illuminating Standards Project, over 30 students at the Harvard Graduate School of Education have explored these questions by choosing projects from the Student Work Archive in the Center for Student Work and considering the ways in which those projects did—and didn’t—meet specific state standards. Further, they examined how the student work illuminated the standards—and vice versa. Many of those students created short films and 13 of those films are presented here.
We invite you to watch these films and we encourage you to use them as the catalyst for discussions with your colleagues about the relationship between your commitment to meet demanding state standards and approaches to designing powerful learning experiences for our students.


Created By

EL Education

Topic

  • Arts Integration
  • Project-Based Learning
  • Student Work

Type

Videos

Grade Level

Discipline

Second grade students in Boston, MA created a professional-quality music video as a culmination of an interdisciplinary study of snakes. Their song, based on Lady Gaga’s hit “Born This Way,” was written by students, and the video became a viral phenomenon. This film features the video and gives the backstory of the video through an interview with the teacher. It focuses on two themes: how students overcome their fears, and how standards can be joined to discovery, joy, and beautiful work. Illuminates CCSS ELA standards W.2.7, W.2.1, W.2.2, W.2.3, W.2.5, W.2.8, W.2.6, (All of CCSS for Writing for second grade).

The Illuminating Standards Project 

In the last two decades of the ‘standards movement’ in American public education, many educators have concluded that ‘teaching to the standards’ and project-based learning are incompatible. Ron Berger (EL Education) and Steve Seidel (Harvard Graduate School of Education), co-directors of The Illuminating Standards Project, wondered if this conclusion was true. Indeed, they speculated that long-term, interdisciplinary, arts-infused, community-connected projects may well be one of the best ways to actually see what state standards look like when fully realized in the things students make in school—to make the standards visible.
Three questions frame the work of The Illuminating Standards Project:
~ What does it look like when state standards are met with integrity, depth, and imagination?
~ How can we use standards to open up and enrich curriculum, rather than narrow and constrain it?
~ How can we use student work to raise the level of our understanding of standards and our dialogue about them?


The Videos
Collaborating with Berger and Seidel on The Illuminating Standards Project, over 30 students at the Harvard Graduate School of Education have explored these questions by choosing projects from the Student Work Archive in the Center for Student Work and considering the ways in which those projects did—and didn’t—meet specific state standards. Further, they examined how the student work illuminated the standards—and vice versa. Many of those students created short films and 13 of those films are presented here.
We invite you to watch these films and we encourage you to use them as the catalyst for discussions with your colleagues about the relationship between your commitment to meet demanding state standards and approaches to designing powerful learning experiences for our students.