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Hero Within

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Keywords: ENGLISH, Hero
Subject(s): English/Language Arts, Writing, Podcasting, Technology, Science, Journalism
Grades 3 through 10
School: Avondale Meadows Upper ES, Rochester Hls, MI
Planned By: Laura Amatulli
Original Author: Laura Amatulli, Rochester Hls
The objective of "The Hero Within" is for students to gain an understanding of heroes and apply it to content areas of sixth grade and then apply it to their own lives.

The following quote sums up the expectations of the program:

"Students often think of others as their heroes, but the Hero Project encourages them to think of their own potential as heroes. Students gain the tools to begin their own hero's journeys through this connecting work."

Throughout the year sixth grade classrooms use “Heroes” as a reoccurring theme. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry is read to officially introduce and define the idea of a hero. Students create numerous mind maps on each character in the story using Inspiration. They identify Author's Craft and add to their character maps the specific craft that made the character come to life for them. Celebrations of heroes will continue throughout the year in various other subjects such as African American Heroes in Social Studies, Famous Inventors in Science, and Mathematicians in Math. A culminating tribute to a local hero ends the year in 6th grade.

I am a brain-based teacher and Inspiration has the power to build mind maps for my students that create visual connections. These connections are used later in their writing. I cannot express enough how students will pull up their mind maps to make connections later in units in the year. It models a brain synapse perfectly, building upon the dendrites to link further knowledge.

Students will pick a local hero and interview them. They will choose a theme of questioning for their interview. A digital voice recorder will be used to tape the interview. This interview will be put into a local hero anthology to be shared on the district website.

A personal reflection by the student will also be attached as an introduction to the interview.

I plan to purchase Pocket PCs with software for students to use in the classroom. I find that students begin to rely on the power of Inspiration and need to use it more frequently. They are continually referring back to previous work they are building upon.

These Pocket PCs will also be utilized with my fellow teachers. As a teacher leader and coordinator of technology I need hands-on technology that will inspire my fellow teachers in my workshops. I am an active participant of the National Writing Project and I plan on workshops at our local Meadow Brook Writing Project. An inquiry project will be written for the Meadow Brook Writing Project. It will be submitted for publication through the National Writing Project and available for several publications for teaching writing in the intermediate levels.

Materials: Flash/USB Drives, Camera Bags, Digital Voice Recorders, Digital SLR, Yearbook, Point and Shoot, Batteries, Word Processor
Other Items: 15 Palm PC, $ 300.00 each, total of $4500.00