Students explain Swedish culture to non-Swedes in their year 1 project

26 januari, 2017

Each year, VRG students spend the first two weeks in January working on a cross-curricular project.  We suspend the regular schedule and students work with one big task for the entire period.  Students work in groups.
We believe that this way of learning serves the students well in a variety of ways:skills-from-project
-helps students understand the interdependent relationship between their courses
-helps students train the skill of working in a group
-offers students the opportunity to go in depth to further understand a topic that interests them
-offers variety in their learning environment
-allows students to develop a student-coach relationship with their teacher
Our year 1 students have created documentary films of between 10-15 minutes. Their films are intended to be seen by an English-speaking audience. The purpose of the film is to acknowledge, to describe and to analyse a Swedish cultural or social phenomenon.  You can read more about the specifics of the project here>>
The student groups worked together to identify a question to investigate.  Then, they did research and conducted interviews with members of the public and relevant experts. They synthesized all of the information into a short film with correctly translated subtitles and a clear ”red thread”.
img_9241As a support during this project, students attended lectures by experts on source criticism, interview techniques, and research strategies.  In addition, the students had lessons about how to capture footage and edit a video.  Throughout the process, the groups had a series of coaching sessions with their mentor. On the final day of the project period, each group shared their film and answered questions from a peer group.
We have run this project before.  See student examples here>>
This year, we had special guests at school to view the films.  Two of our founding board members, as well as the Swedish Language Immersion (språk introduktion) class from our sister schools, VRG Jarlaplan and VRG Odenplan.  Having a real audience for our students’ work made this an authentic learning task.
Here are a few of the student-produced films*:
Topic:  Taco Friday
Topic: Fika
Topic: Pippi
Topic: Keep your distance:
Topic: You reform


Students were assessed in accordance with the grading criteria from their English and Swedish courses:

  • The ability to express oneself in English
  • The ability to use different language strategies in different contexts.
  • The ability to adapt language to different situations.
  • Searching for information from different sources.
  • Critically reflecting on the trustworthiness and relevance of your sources.
  • Analyzing social phenomena by identifying and discussing causes and consequences and using relevant terminology.

This film project offers students the opportunity to show their knowledge and skills using creative methods. Students were given the chance to work outside of the normal school environment which required them to be responsible and active, show initiative and work as part of a team.

Another example of how ”Art and Science” can go hand-in-hand.

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