The Class Mascot Experiment. 1.0

Several years ago a colleague  of mine made the observation that the previous year 12 group had come together as a collaborative group after one of their  year group had been diagnosed with leukemia.  The whole grade had got behind this one student  and as a group started sharing study notes and other resources. It was my colleagues belief that the collegial nature of that particular year group was due to a shared adversity and was the reason the whole group finished with better than expected results.

Class Mascot 1.0

At the time this got me thinking about how you could replicate the adversity without having a student develop a life threatening disease. Thus I conceived the mascot experiment. Where I organized my Senior Biology class to get a mascot, a recycled stuffed toy from an op-shop, with the plan of allowing the class to bond with the mascot before causing some adversity to occur to it. So that I could develop a collaborative online space for the sharing of resources. I set the whole task up as a series of missions.

For example:

  • Your mission is to go to an op-shop and buy a stuffed toy for $5 or less.
  • Your mission is to name the mascot.
  • Your mission is to take the mascot on an outing and record the trip  in some way.

This all started as planned, but a real adversity occurred before  I could introduce my planned one.  The mascot was kidnapped by a member of another senior biology class. This caused  indignation in my class and they did devise a number of plans to rescue the mascot (none that succeeded). The other class sent ransom requests  (for party food) with a variety of threats to the well-being of the mascot.

At the time I though it was a bit of a failure as the collaborative sharing of resources did not eventuate.  What did develop was a collegial class atmosphere. Which in retrospect may have been just as valuable

After reading and reflecting on the benefits of cooperative learning I am thinking it might be worth another try.

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2 Comments »

  1. Jess Johnson said

    Nice idea. I think I’ll steal that one.

  2. A great idea..will use that.

    Paul

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