Culminating Activity for First Quarter

Freedom; this was the value that I wanted my students to experience for this activity. I wanted them to explore their own potentials by giving them avenues to choose their own projects that best demonstrates the things they learned in the First Quarter.

First, I presented the big idea; a culminating activity for the First Quarter blending fun and learning at the same time. Then, I let the students suggest what kind of project they want to have and they can do it individually, in pairs, or in groups. The students suggested the following and have agreed on the mechanics:

  • Brochure: A trifold brochure showcasing a summary of one topic they want to cover. 10 copies will be produced and be distributed to teachers and other high school students. It should be done individually.  
  • Painting. A painting showcasing the effects of plate tectonics. They have the freedom to choose the medium that they want to use and its size. This is an individual product.
  • Song Composition. A song focusing on the effects of plate tectonics or any topic within the first quarter. It can be done in pairs or in groups of 5. One group petitioned to have more than 5 members because they wanted an acapella (Pitch Perfect style) performance. 
  • Dance Performance. A group performance that will showcase the things they learned for the first quarter.
  • Broadcasting. A group performance on news reporting summarizing the events that may happen due to plate movement.

After suggesting possible projects, they were asked to choose one from the choices that were presented. Then, I grouped the students according to their choices. I had a little meeting with the students that opted to make brochures and paintings, I asked them to present to me their concepts and wait for my approval before they proceeded. I also had a meeting with the group performers, they had the freedom to choose their groupmates while I set the limit of the number of students in a group. I also asked them to present to me their concepts, once approved they proceeded to plan on how to make things happen. While they had their meetings, I went to each group and asked what are the things that needs to be graded in their performances, they made their own criteria for judging and the corresponding weight of each. 

I watched them cram, disagreeing on points sometimes, rehearse, and the frustrations on their faces at some point made me question my decision to implement this kind of activity. Did I give them too much freedom? Shall I interfere and take control? I asked these questions many times while I silently watched around the corner  but I needed to trust them that they can do it and they know the consequences of their actions if ever they will fail because they were the brainchild of their performances anyway. I am glad that I let them stumble along the way and watched them get back on their feet and kept on going.

At last, the day came for them to showcase what they worked hard for weeks. They were all unique and it was a beautiful sight to see – talent and learnings weaved into one spectacular performance. 

First Quarter ended with a bang! They were not the most outstanding performaces a teacher can watch but seeing them grow from their perfromances from day 1 is a sight to behold. I am so proud to all them for being so matured in facing their responsiblities and for using the given freedom wisely.


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