Today my 7th grade students are creating Russian nesting dolls (Matryoshka). This is the art project for our geography chapter on Russia. Students can make their nesting dolls out of any characters they want, from typical pop culture choices to ones they make up on their own.
Later this week they will reflect on their choice in characters. Why did they choose superheroes? Why cartoon characters? Why did they want to make their own, new characters? The real goal of this activity is less about Russian art and much more about students identifying the choice they made.
Too often we make choices based upon the people we surround ourselves with. We succumb to peer pressure or that inner voice that has been telling us for years we aren't cool enough and we need to work harder to fit in. The reality is the only people that we need to make happy or impress is ourselves and we can't do that hanging on to the old social pressures that used to make us question every decision we made. We need to take a stand in our classrooms and give our students opportunities to share their inner nerdiness. Give them their voice.
This post has been reposted on the #SKoN blog.