For the last few months, I have been inspired by the ways Allison Marchetti and Rebekah O’Dell have used the art of Mari Andrew with their students for notebook time.

 

I’ve already used one illustration as a notebook prompt with my seniors earlier this year, and the students loved her work.  With these things in mind, I decided to use this illustration as a “mentor text” for my students to help them rethink a vocabulary word or concept from their research around their self-selected “future of work” topic.

With the hopes of engaging my students in some meaningful metacognition, I asked my students to think of an important vocabulary word or concept from their research and see if they could recast it in the spirit of Mari Andrew.  For groups who didn’t have colored pencils, I distributed packs of supplies to help students craft their work.  Though a few students originally got a little confused and picked a random word, most jumped right in and those who had wandered a bit got back on track with a little redirection as I walked around and “eavesdropped” on their work.

  

This was definitely a creative stretch for students, but I think the value was that it gave them an opportunity to really think through the qualities of the word or concept from their research they selected.  Students had an opportunity to share out their work and thinking with their peers.  Because students will create a multimedia or performance product to accompany their written paper of their research, students have the option of refining, revising, and adding to this work on a poster as part of their project portfolio.

I plan to incorporate more of Mari’s work as inspiration to help us engage in “vocabulary yoga” and think of alternate ways to represent meanings and connotations associated with words.  What other artists do you like to use for notebook time and how are you using them with your students for notebook time?  I’d love to hear your ideas!