I used this handy tool today with my class as part of our unit of work on Identity. The students had a thumbnail sheet of their classmates that they could cut out and arrange on the graphic. But... the catch was that they had to justify the specific placement of each student pic by recording something that the two linked students had in common. And every connection made on the graphic had to be justified in this way so every picture had to be thoughtfully placed. The kids worked on this for half an hour this afternoon and barely scratched the surface - with a lot of kids seeking each other out to work out points of commonality.
" What month were you born in?"
"What's your middle name?"
"What's your favourite X-Box game?"
You get the idea. How did I get this activity? Well, in true digital viral form, the graphic came from Chris Harbeck in Winnipeg, Canada, who created it on Gliffy after listening to a Bernie Dodge presentation podcast, listened to and recorded by Wesley Fryer from Oklahoma, USA. Chris picked up the idea very quickly and applied his take on the "Glass Bead Game" mentioned in the presentation. Maybe I was initially resistant to this global virus but eventually the idea has taken seed here in Adelaide, Australia.
Just how easy it is to lay my hands on ideas and communicate with those people who create and put these ideas into action half a world away still blows my mind.