Slice of Life 29: Post-it Ideas

Sometimes the best lesson ideas come to me at the most unexpected times, which is usually when I grab a post-it note to write it down and stick it on my desk, next to my computer, somewhere I’ll find it again.

Two “post-it” ideas today:

“Which character are you?” Quiz

Before class started, one of my ninth graders reminded me of the “What character are you?” quizzes I posted on Schoology last fall. I posted a few different ones for fun, things like “Which YA character are you?” and “Which Hogwarts House do you belong to?” In our conversation, one of my students suggested we could come up with a quiz for the characters that we’ve been reading about.As several students heard the idea, we started to brainstorm a few different questions we could ask and what the potential answers/characters could be.

IDEA: Students could create a “Which character are you?” quiz customized to the books that we’ve read in our curriculum. After a little bit of googling, I found a few potential sites online to help us make an online quiz (Poll Snack and App Geyser’s “Create a Personality Quiz” tool). I’m not sure yet about logistics, but I think this would be a fun thing to do, perhaps even if it’s just on paper for now. 🙂

Visual Essay

Last week, during our district tech meeting, I revisited Sway and played around with it a bit more. We had a Microsoft Education trainer presenting a few new tools that teachers could use and Sway was one of them; in fact, her presentation was formatted using Sway. Sway is an online presentation tool that is simpler and a little more modern-feeling than the traditional PowerPoint.  I love the feel of Sway, but because of its simplicity, aside from it having different transitions, I wasn’t sure how I could use it with students (other than, “Here’s another tool to try!”).

But then I remembered this visual essay I had seen a few years ago, The Reluctant Father. It’s a beautiful piece on the writer’s/photographer’s journey after his newborn daughter was born. When you scroll through and read the essay and look at the pictures, you get an appreciation for the way the medium of this online visual essay supports and enhances the content.

IDEA: Students create their own visual essay modeled after “The Reluctant Father” using Sway. And instead of creating it from “scratch,” students could choose one of the blog posts they’ve already written and transform/reimagine it in this form. Another potential tool is Adobe Spark Page.

What I love about these two ideas—especially if they go well!—is that I think (or hope) that they’ll be more engaging for kids. I guess we’ll see…

slice of lifeThis post is part of the Slice of Life Challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers, who have created a space for writers and teachers of writers to come together. To learn more about this challenge, click here.


  1. This made me laugh, as I had four post-its scattered around my work area. I addressed them, recorded them in a better keeping place, and am ready to write some new ones today!


  2. Thomas J.

    I would say let’s try the character quiz idea for the “The Things They Carried,” but I hardly remember any characters’ names now except Rat Kiley. And I love the visual essay idea!


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