This fall, The Unquiet Library has hosted a unique art installation inspired by student research this past spring. Some of you may remember Teagan from this past winter and her unique approach to creating mindmaps. Teagan and her partner Kristiena (whom you may remember as one of my co-authors from this fall for a Knowledge Quest article) created a digital multigenre research composition on veterans and PTSD. Both Teagan and Kristiena were part of a group of students who generously shared their insights and reflections on being immersed in a participatory culture of learning. In their words, they set out to explore “…PTSD, the effects it has on veterans, and how veterans can receive help from this mental illness. It is very important to understand the severity of this undermined illness because without knowing about the organizations that help these veterans, the specific treatments these organizations use, and what we can do as a community to help, we are letting our country’s veterans down.” Their inquiry was inspired by their readings of All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac, and Ghosts of War by Ryan Smithson.
Teagan, who is a gifted photographer, decided to create her own original images to depict some of the key ideas and findings from their research and integrate them into the multigenre digital text. I was so struck by the artistry of her work that this fall, I asked her if she would consider letting the library create prints of her work and have a research inspired art gallery. She graciously gave me permission and used excerpts of her research to create informational placards for each print. After we mounted the prints and placards on art easels, we arranged Teagan’s artwork in the sequence she outlined for us so that viewers could follow the narrative of her artistic creations. Students and teachers alike have been impressed not only with her moving and striking photography, but they have also been pleasantly surprised to learn that it was sparked by the information she discovered in her research and that the gallery is an alternative representation of those findings. Not only did Teagan photograph and process the photographs, but she and her father both served as models for the prints.
The research inspired art gallery has not only helped others learn about PTSD and its impact on veterans, but it has also nudged people to see research as something more than an assignment and that it is a mode of learning that can far beyond a class assignment. I am hopeful that future galleries featuring inquiry inspired creative works will be commonplace and can incorporate additional participatory mediums for interacting with the gallery with a feature like panels coated in IdeaPaint where people can respond to the art and ideas. On behalf of the library and our learning community, I would like to thank Teagan for generously sharing her talent and wisdom with us.
Today, one of our Unquiet Library students, Caitlyn, checked out the very first Kindle from the Unquiet Library. We loaded it up with her specific requests, including Hunger Games, the House of Night series, and several Ally Carter titles.
Caitlyn was gracious enough to share her thoughts on why she wanted to try reading on a Kindle and what she expects from the reading experience.
Check out sophomore Autumn channeling presentation zen as she shares her findings and reflections on her inquiry into genocide in Sudan.
I, Ms. Hamilton, spent most of today helping AP Literature seniors get started on the “Senior Project” research projects. Before we jumped into the research pathfinder, I kicked off class sharing the news about our new Kindles—what they are (I had one of our new Kindles in hand!), why students might want to check one out, and how we’ll circulate them as well as our Kindle ebook request form.
In one of our morning sessions, Mary, a senior, showed fellow students her own latest generation Kindle that she received as a gift this summer. I was so impressed by how well she articulated how she is using her Kindle (as were her fellow students) that I asked her to share those insights via video, and she graciously agreed to do so. Take a listen to what Mary has to say about her Kindle–as we start to circulate Kindles on Friday (November 12), I am eager to hear your students’ thoughts and reflections on their experiences of using The Unquiet Library’s Kindles!
WOW! I can’t believe I’m already three months into my reading challenge! Except this month is different. I read and finished TWO books! I read Catching Fire (the sequel to The Hunger Games) and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (an AP Lit. reading assignment). It was definitely a challenge for me, but I feel very accomplished in doing so. Catching Fire was awesome. Brave New World? That’s a different story.
The Hunger Games was great, and I could hardly put it down, but Catching Fire had me turning pages faster than a race car! There were more twists and turns than I ever expected! There were so many times that I caught myself yelling at the characters. It’s a good thing I usually read in a quiet place where I’m all alone. When Peeta announced love for Katniss in the first book, I was speechless. When he announced their “newest family addition” the second time around, I almost passed out. And when Gale told Katniss about District Twelve, I was really annoyed that I couldn’t pick Mockingjay up and start reading. I am still on the waiting list for that by the way. I can’t believe the things that have taken place so far in Panem and I can’t wait to find out how the story ends.
So far, my favorite character is Gale. I love him! I also feel really bad for him because I know he loves Katniss, but she has become the center of a twisted love triangle. Katniss is actually one of my least favorites. Peeta is sweet, and I would feel bad for him if Katniss kicked him to the curb, but I think that Gale is so much better for her.
I can’t wait to keep reading!