Monday, January 10, 2011

The Outsiders Final Project - Facebook

I look forward to teaching 7th grade for one reason – reading The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. It’s a classic piece of adolescent literature that every kid can relate to on some level. I like to read it with my classes early in the year because it is something that they tend to rally behind and I can usually ride out the enthusiasm it creates until after the Winter recess. This year marks the fourth time I have taught the book, and while I now have a drawer filled with lessons and handouts, I have never been able to find a suitable project to use as a conclusion to such a magnificent read.

Until now.

Students are creating a mock Facebook account for a character from the book. The project is a grand slam; it is rigorous and relevant to the book, but also collaborative and highly engaging. Students were asked to choose one of three main characters – Johnny, Ponyboy, or Dally – and create a Facebook wall complete with status updates and replies from other characters. These posts should demonstrate their understanding of important events in the book as well as the complex relationships between characters. Students have really stepped up to the task and I have been impressed by their overwhelming creativity and ability to approach a text from a different perspective.

For the project, I created Facebook templates with Photoshop. Since my students watched the 1985 movie version of The Outsiders, I included headshots from the theatrical release to serve as profile pictures. All students had to do was manipulate text boxes that were included in the template. To help troubleshoot, I also made a quick Jing tutorial video demonstrating how they should create their project. Click here to view it.

If you would like to use this project with your students, here is a zip file of all the documents you will need. I also uploaded my project outline sheet to Scribd.com. Feel free to download it!
The Outsiders Facebook Project


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19 Responses:

Amy said...

This project ROCKS! I'm definitely going to offer it as an option for my 7th grade class (I am student teaching this semester, and had the pleasure of teaching this novel). I look forward to seeing what the kids produce - especially those who struggle with standard projects or essays. Thank you for sharing your creativity and resources!

Patti L said...

This looks great! I can't wait to get to it. How do you assess it? Do you have any good examples of comments/status updates - like a rubric or list things that you feel are good enough entries to show understanding of the text and relationships? I'd love to see a laundry list - maybe I'll make one after I've used this once - of descriptors to look for between certain characters? Thanks for this - it's very cool and I know my ELL 9th graders with LOVE it!

Emily Ronning said...

I owe you my life!! I wanted to do this so badly, but don't have time to put in the work at the last minute this year...typed in "Outsiders Project" and this is exactly what I'm looking for!

The kids are going to love it!! Thanks so much for all your hard work and providing the resources~~God bless!

John said...

Thanks for the interest, Emily! If your students complete the Facebook project, I would love to see a few samples! My students really enjoyed it; hopefully you have the same success!

Jessica Ketcham said...

John,
Would you mind if I modified this project for my US history class to create facebook pages for historical figures? I love the idea and I would like to make it revelant to my classroom.

Emily Ronning said...

Once again, thanks for all your work! I've uploaded a few of my examples of my students' work...check it out if you get a chance!

http://msronning.wikispaces.com/Outsiders+Project+2011

John said...

@Emily - I love your projects. I was especially impressed by the student who had Johnny "like" the newspaper link that declared him a hero! Excellent!

@Jessica - Feel free to modify it in any way you wish! Like I mentioned to Emily in a previous reply, I would love to see the finished products when your students complete the project!

Anonymous said...

I have thought about a Facebook project for my students but had no idea where to start. I can't tell you how excited I was to find your website. Thank you for posting all of your hard work for other educators to use in their classroom. I am really excited about introducing this project to my students.

@Emily--I love the examples that you posted for this project. This will be a great link for my students to see excellent work on this project.

Anonymous said...

Omg this project is so hard....
by vincent..Yeahhh

Resourceress said...

This is great!

My class and I have been muddling our way through an Outsiders "Fakebook" project--using either myfakewall.com or Fakebook at http://classtools.net/fb/home/page...My students are getting a little frustrated with those venues. Thanks so much for your hard work!

@Emily--The rubric is fabulous! I've been wondering how best to assess my kids' work.

Anonymous said...

where can i download your template?

Unknown said...

hey im just wondering how i can acsess it to edit it? im doing a math project and this is one of the best formats ive seen yet!

Unknown said...

where can I edit this or get it on word to edit it? I'm doing a math project and this is the best format I've seen yet!

Anonymous said...

how do I get the faces to paste on the template. I have tried to copy and paste but the picture ends up where I don't want it?

dh said...

I would love to use your template for another project that I am completing on poets. How can I download the template so that I can edit it? I love what you have done here, and it is inspiring me to learn some more tech so that I can create instead of asking permission to edit. When I get better, I will share with you:)

Dante Wildern said...

This sucks. As a student I see the people around me being sucked into a technical age of pseudo-social interaction. The rise of "social" networking is steadily becoming the death of real interaction. This fuels the obsession of my generation. The concept of these great pieces of literature being put into facebook format makes me sick. That goes against everything you should be taching these kids. Shame on you.

John Mikulski said...

@Dante,

Thank you for your passionate comment. I posted my response as a separate post - http://t.co/xsMhH9m8

Mallory said...

Thanks for this fabulous project! I'm so excited!

Mrs. Sowerby said...

Bah! WHAT AN AWESOME PROJECT IDEA! Thanks for creating this and also for your generosity in sharing everything. What a great idea. I was scrambling at the last minute to find a project idea for my students because I suddenly have to be away. This is phenomenal. THANK YOU!