escrapbooking title

Process: Project Focus

climbing"The urge to make and build seems to be an almost universal human characteristic. It goes way beyond meeting our need for survival and seems to be the expression of some deep-rooted part of being human." - Mister Rogers

Some projects focus on a concrete topic while others are more abstract. Consider ways to make your product reflect your thinking process. How did the "scraps" come together into the final form? What connections did you make among the elements?

There are many approaches to projects:

Consider using the Speaker Notes in Powerpoint, Comments in Word, or Notes in Inspiration to annotate your visuals and journal your ideas. Also consider writing an introduction to your scrapbook that expresses what you learned from the experience.

soccerAction Focus
Work, school, and play are just a few of the activities that are part of our world. Do you participate in sports, theatre, or hobbies? Have you been geocaching?

Artifact Focus
Focus on a particular artifact. Consider objects in your life such as musical instruments, sports equipment, heirlooms, furniture, tools, machines, clothing, computer, and hobbies. Create a list of objects in your life. Create a list of objects in the lives of others through history. How are objects related to each other? Consider objects in nature such as trees, gardens, grass, flowers, river, or rock formations.

Art and Architecture Focus
Focus on art or architecture.

Autobiographical Focus
Focus on self and family.

pumpkinCustom Focus
Focus on a custom or tradition particular to your family, culture, or religion. Does the tooth fairy come to your house? Do you eat banana bread at Christmas?

Document Focus
Focus on a specific document. Consider a treaty, law, certificate, or deed. How has it impacted you, your country, and the world?

Event or Experience Focus
Focus on a specific event or experience. It could be something emotional such as a birthday, tragedy, disaster, or graduation. Also consider the impact of a historical, cultural, musical, social, or other event. Consider a specific day in history. Or, a celebration such as a special month or day. What about birthdays, anniversaries, local centennials, multi-generational activities, reunions, retirements, weddings, funerals, or championships? Have you met someone famous, had a unique experience, or interesting happening growing up?

You might separate events and experiences. An event may be something that involved you as an observer such as a historic space flight or landmark court decision. An experience may be something that involved you directly such as conducting a science experiment or playing in a football game. It could be as simple as an anecdote or silly story about yourself.

Issue Focus
Focus on an issue. Contemplate the options and your perspectives. Consider why others might feel differently from you. Think about how people's thoughts have evolved over time. Canvas the ideas of others.

Life Focus
Focus on plants, animals, and organisms. Think about pets, endangered animals, viruses, and issues in life.

Paula DanzigerLiterature Focus
Focus on literature including picture books, novels, short stories, and poems. Think about genres: historical fiction, realistic fiction, biography. Consider a book theme such as birth, death, growing old, passage of time, war, peace, or other topics. Also think about the elements including character, plot, seeting.

Myth and Misconceptions Focus
Focus on a myth, legend, or misconceptions. Is there an urban legend you think is spooky? Is there a myth you want to bust? Explore one of these ideas that often circulate around the Internet. Also consider local legends, folklore, and stories you may be able to prove.

News and Information Focus
Focus on news.

Person or People Focus
Focus on a particular person or group of people. Select well-known people who represent an idea or movement. Also consider less-known people who are also significant. Connect these people to yourself. Also think about family members, people you've met, or people you admire. Groups might include Danish, veterans, or hikers. Consider both biographical and autobiographical projects.

Consider interviewing someone. Base your project on a career of interest.

Place Focus
Focus on a particular setting, location, or geographic feature. Explore ideas for place-based learning in the local community through local historical and natural areas.

Quote Focus
Focus on a quote, statistic, or piece of information.

Song Focus
Focus on a song.

Symbols, Signs, and Marker Focus
Focus on symbols, signs, or markers. Consider street signs, historic markers, political posters, commercial signs, or cornerstones. Explore cemetery tombstones or commemorative markers. Are there war memorials in your town? What do they mean to the local residents? Also, think about crests, totems, and other family symbols. For example, lobster companies have their own buoys. Consider nature too. Did you know that each thumbprint is different? Did you know that the fluke (tail) of each whale is unique?

(We took the photo above near Bar Harbor, Maine.
Then, we found the same whale in the WhaleNet database)

Theory Focus
Focus on a theory, formula, or concept.

Value Focus
Focus on a value, character trait, or ethical issue. Consider a word such as respect, gratitude, prejudice, or honesty.

Word Focus
Focus on a specific word or concept. Consider an abstract word such as aspirations, frustrations, fears, bored, or thrills. Also, think about words connected with subject areas such as democracy, drought, poverty, beauty, freedom, irony, or red herring. Consider character words such as respect and honesty. What are your hopes, dreams, obsessions, and fears? When have you felt foolish or frightened?

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