Start with WHY. Also, HOW and WHAT.
Here is a part of my first Innovative Arts project unit! Specifically, it is the introduction to first three projects that students will encounter in my class. They are starting to ‘Think like an engineer”!
Why teach this unit: The goal of this Innovative Arts unit is to shift student mindsets with authentic creative experiences. Projects (like this) are created to foster self-direction, develop persistence, and enhancing the creative confidence in our students. Overall, students learn about themselves as unique creators and explore the intersection of their interests and the infinite possible opportunities ahead of them.
How do students learn autonomy? Innovative Arts students have units that teach them “How to think like a _____” in the following creator types: Engineer, Designer, Digital Creator, Entrepreneur, Wordsmith, and Coder. By giving students the basic of tools, they can choose their own path moving forward, dive into more advanced projects, and start to learn the tools of professionals of that field.
What do students do in class? We learn by doing projects! The process, successes, failures, mistakes, and overall growth in ability are how we learn some really important lessons! Making is the best way to teach students how to own their learning.
Getting this created has been on my mind for literally years. Having the first unit plan (draft) complete feels amazing – now I have a template to tweak! Someday, if other teachers want to follow in my footsteps, these unit plans will be vital. Whew.