Being Human

(This is a part of the Deeper Learning Story Bank. Add your story!)

Story title: Being Human

Submitted by: Syd DiChiara
Nex+Gen Academy

DL story: We began the year in our 10th grade Humanities class by asking the question, what is unique about being human?

Students were immersed in all kinds of media; short stories, documentaries, essays, art, & poetry.

One of the stories we read and discussed was Ursula LeGuin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,” a deeply open-ended short story that challenged students to think about a number of philosophical questions, none of which had an easy answer. Students ended the project with a collaborative art installment that conveyed their group’s ideas on what it means to be human.

It was a great start to the year because students were engaged with complex ideas and with one another in a way that set a tone for the rest of the year. Months later, in their end-of-semester reflections, many chose the “Being Human” project as the one that impacted them the most as thinkers and learners.

Mastering core academic content, Thinking critically, Collaborating, Doing relevant, engaging work, Making things, Presenting work to a real audience

One thought on “Being Human

  1. Hi Syd!

    Thanks for sharing! I really love the idea of questioning what it means to be “human”, and I’m very curious about the short story that your group read.

    Also, this makes me think of project work I did when I taught 10th grade around Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”. I wish I had that short story you mentioned then!

    Thanks again!

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