In traditional classrooms, character trait study likely consisted of a teacher lesson (read: lecture) to explain the term ‘character trait’, followed by individual seat work. Students would sit quietly at their desks, read a story alone, and then write a paragraph about the story’s characters and their traits. Students’ written work would be graded and sent home in a folder. The end.
Take a peek into HSE21 classrooms, though, and what you’ll see is completely different! HSE21 means that character study – indeed all academic content – is presented in active, student-centered ways that lead to deeper learning. What does does HSE21 look like in the classroom? Consider this recent HSE21 example of character trait study:
At Thorpe Creek Elementary, third grade teacher Mrs. Muegge introduced character traits to her students through an HSE21 lens. Following her interactive mini-lesson, Muegge asked student pairs to choose books for their own character studies. Partners considered the characters in their stories and, with Muegge’s guidance and help, decided on traits that best exemplified each. Students then created, shared, and discussed presentations and what they’d learned. Here’s a final product, created and shared by Aariyah and Gabrielle:
While staying true to the academic standards, HSE21 teaching and learning turns the traditional quiet classroom into a vibrant learning lab.
- Student Choice – Which book would you like to use for this project?
- Collaboration – Let’s work with partners to analyze the characters; we can learn from each other!
- Engagement and Creativity – Design a presentation to teach us what you learned!
- Extension of Learning – We’ll post our presentations and share our learning with each other and those beyond our classroom walls!
In which type of classroom would you rather learn?