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Faces of Experience

February 11, 2011

Leah Olson’s 7th graders are making portraits

Bucksport Middle School students have been learning from conversations with older community members. The information below is taken from an article that appeared in the Bucksport Enterprise, January 27, 2011.

Monday and Tuesday were “get acquainted days” at the Bucksport Senior Center as some of the area’s older residents shared their lives and the lessons they’ve learned with the regions seventh graders.

In a project dubbed “Generational Snapshots of the Past: Focus on Community Unity,” the Bucksport Middle School students will be incorporating what they’ve heard into a number of classes throughout the rest of the current school year.

Dozens of older residents turned out for each of the two interview sessions this year, and the enthusiasm among both the younger and the older generations was clear.

Some of the seventh graders learned for the first time that there really was life before even television, never mind texting.

And the older folks who participated were swept up with enthusiasm as the pupils studiously recorded their every utterance.

Now, the students will write about the people they met this week. In their math classes, they will graph and analyze the data they gleaned from the surveys the seniors submitted. They’ll talk about the changes – and the similarities  – that span the decades. They’ll use their computer skills to produce brochures and presentations on what they’re learning. And their art classes will include an opportunity to turn a photograph into a portrait of some of those who possess those voices of experience.

Finally, some of the students may well collaborate on producing a video about the entire educational process.

Students are working in art teacher, Leah Olson’s classes making portrait drawings of the older residents from Bucksport. They are working from a photograph and creating a grid on 12″X18″ white drawing paper to help with their proportions. Leah has designed an extensive rubric so students understand the goals of the project. Components of the rubric are analogous color schemes and how emotions and the color scheme correlate.

The Bangor Daily News had an article about the work as well published on January 24th and written by Rich Hewitt. You can read their article by clicking here. Here is a quote from one of the seniors participating in the project…

They were asking about my childhood,” said Joyce Johnson, 85, of Bucksport. “And they asked me what my favorite television show was when I was young. Well, there was no television in those days. It was all radio then. My father had the first radio in the area. I can remember listening to ‘Amos ’n’ Andy.’”

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