Teacher Reflection: This project was a really great first project for our students to explore. I really loved the idea of integrating with Kurt Schwartz and creating a "literary" theme park. Inspired by theme parks built based on movies, like the Harry Potter theme park, I got the idea to challenge our students similarly, except with the classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I think that bringing in model-making experts and design experts like Tim Nottage and Robert Brill was key to making this project work. I also thinking that bringing the students to see a roller coaster in action and to experience one helped bring the project to life, and make the project engaging. In the future, I would like to bring in the experts at the beginning and at the end of the project so that the students could show their work to an expert from inception through final product. I also would like to build more revision into the project as I think it would have made the final products much more beautiful. Lastly, one of my favorite portions of the final exhibition was the roller coaster brochure. I would have loved to have the students share these with one another a little bit more, as they barely got a chance to look at one another's work. Overall, I truly believe my students learned a lot from this project and were able to make new and interesting connections. I do think that many of them will remember the lessons taught in To Kill a Mockingbird for life, especially the lessons regarding empathy. And if students can walk away just a little more empathetic, I say, What more can you ask?
The Literary Roller Coaster Exhibition
The community is invited to experience the opening of Harper Lee's Walk of Wisdom, a literary theme park created by the Carol/Schwartz team!
Jim Rohr promoted science and engineering. He talked about grand problems that engineers face today. He did brief demonstrations such as experiments with pressure and volume.
Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence founder and executive director comes to speak with our class about healthy relationships. Our class also collected winter clothing and blankets for the homeless to donate to her Holidays of Hope project. At the end of her talk, students hung up purple ribbons to represent their pledge against domestic violence.
Robert Brill, a scenic designer who has worked on Broadway, Off-Broadway, with Pixar and with Disney, among other work, for over 25 years, comes to visit our students, speak to them about his work and help them work on designs!
Project Work Time
Students continue to build and design their To Kill a Mockingbird roller coasters.
Students create models inspired by settings and moods and moments depicted in To Kill a Mockingbird
Belmont Park Field Trip: September 5th, 2013
Learners visit Belmont Park to experience the roller coaster!
Tim Nottage- Scenic Designer
Students work with different design materials with La Jolla Playhouse's Tim Nottage.