One Man's Trash is another Man's Treasure
When was the last time you looked on the ground and saw a piece of trash and thought, "I could get some use out of that?" Probably never. But thousands of people across the country think this very thought on a daily basis. In modern times of excess and misuse, our resources are running out and something must be done.
Now- fast forward 100 years into the future. Books have become obsolete because of a shortage of paper and ink. Smartboards and Smartphones are gone. You and your team are the remaining scholars in charge of preserving our literature by any means possible.
Today you will begin the preservation. In your literature circle groups, you will have 15 minutes to gather as much trash around the school as possible (as safely as possible.) You will then create an original work of art- poster, sculpture or montage- covering one of the major scenes from your novel. You will then present your creation to the class and "teach" them using your "trash."
My English II students are completing projects now for their Literature Circles. The project is called "One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure." It is based on the novel, "The Book Thief." In the book, the characters are very poor and have to make the best with what they have, which includes the gifts they give. The class initially talks about things we misuse, or things we do in excess. Then I show them this article, about a man who builds houses out of recycled goods. Click here
The article’s slideshow is great and really captures the essence of the homes.
Then we go over the directions of the project- the students have ten minutes to scour the school looking for trash. They are wearing plastic gloves and have trash bags. Next they have 30-40 minutes to create a unique piece of art that represents the book. I took some pictures of the finished goods, they are really cool and are shown below.
At the end of the class we present our art in an "Art Show," and talk about celebrating all imperfections, including our own.
Every student gets into this project, they love being creative and showing off their work. Plus we are getting some school improvement as well.
English II Teacher
Some examples below :
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - deals with an autistic boy- he hates the color yellow, can only understand certain facial expressions, and can’t understand Stop signs.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - those are representations of the twin towers, the foil is smoke.
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - a dead dog with a pitchfork representation- powerade was used for blood.