Imagine an amazing STEM school with students cloning carrots in 10th grade and going on to work in research labs all over the world. Pretty cool, huh? But what's missing? Art! My students have 0 art classes and need a creative outlet to help them understand that thinking's messy and no one's perfect!
My students attend a highly competitive STEM high school that requires a rigorous admissions process.
Many of them have been preparing for high school for years and spend their high school years preparing for the SAT's in order to earn a perfect score. They put so much stress on themselves to be perfect and attain perfect grades that they struggle with accepting that not everything follows a neat and orderly set of rules. As a result, I want to help them learn how to have fun and engage in the creative process.
Additionally, when students choose to come to our high school, they do so with the understanding that they will not have art classes. Rather, the focus is science. While they become amazing scientists as a result of our program, the one thing they miss is having art in their lives. Even those who were never really into art find themselves missing a creative outlet. Wreck This Journal would be a perfect balance to the academic rigor and perfection needed in their science classes.
"Wreck This Journal" will encourage my students to make a mess and release their tension while being creative. One of the activities asks the writer to tear out a page, throw it out, and accept the loss. When this was presented to a group of students, they became visibly uncomfortable watching the teacher proceed with this activity. It is so important for my students to learn it's OK to make mistakes, to learn from them, and to keep going. In order to innovate and create, they need to be OK with breaking the rules.
"Wreck This Journal" will help me lead my students through a variety of much-needed stress relief activities over the course of the year, such as flinging coffee on the pages, writing carelessly, and releasing their inner monologue.
The books will be used all year in my English class to help my students engage in creative ways of relieving their anxiety. It is my hope that these activities will help my students ease up on themselves and just have fun being kids for awhile.
My students are amazing & brilliant.
They'll go on to conduct research that leads to breakthroughs in genetic testing, curing cancer, and more. However, they need to learn the importance of making mistakes before they realize this potential. Some of the best discoveries happen through failure and happenstance. I want my students to know that making a mess can lead to beauty and truth.
Please help bring "Wreck This Journal" to my STEM-focused 9th graders and help them find their creative spirit!
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