As many of you know, I lead a project-based, personalized learning academy called Lights Academy at Lutheran High School where I teach. My students, juniors and seniors, are asking very interesting questions and then pursuing answers to those questions. I am amazed by the work they do, the problems that they solve, and the questions they answer.
One project in particular stood out to me this past semester, for the simple reason that my student Mack completely threw herself into the topic. She embraced a minimalist lifestyle, cutting down her personal possessions from over 1000 to 100. You can read about her journey on the following site she created:
What I like about Mack’s project is that she did more than research something. She embraced it, lived it, and then reflected upon it. As a teacher in a Christian school, I also appreciate that she expressed the faith impact this experience had on her. In addition, her project has me thinking about my own lifestyle, all the “stuff” I possess, and what this says about me, my life, and my faith. I guarantee that everyone her heard her presentation was challenged with the same thoughts and questions.
If you have a classroom of students, this site could be used to discuss some pretty significant questions:
- Could you live minimally? Why or why not?
- What does our “stuff” say about us?
- Is “stuff” the best use of our resources?
- What happens to “stuff” after the death of someone? What are the challenges and opportunities?
- Do we need to keep buying “stuff” to have a strong economy? How does gathering stuff affect our national culture?
- When do things we own become more important than people in our lives? Why?
I am sure each of you could come up with many more questions that would be interesting to pursue in the classroom.
Our students have the ability to inspire, to challenge, and to create. Let’s give them the opportunity to do so whenever possible. We have so much to learn from them.
Feel free to share a thought about this project with Mack as a comment to this blog. I am sure that she will appreciate knowing that her work resonated with others.