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Camilla E. Church

School: Shutesbury Elementary School

City/State: Shutesbury, MA

Grade(s): 5, 6

Format(s): Character file

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Social Studies

Project Overview

This character file was created by a 5th/6th grade student at the Shutesbury Elementary School, in Shutesbury, Massachusetts as part of a Learning expedition on architecture.

Though only one is shown here, each student’s character file (CF) tells the detailed life story, including the career, of an architect. To create their CF, each student met with and interviewed an architect; students also studied historical architects.

The CF format combines mandatory components that all students must include with optional components that allow for student choice based on interest and pace of work. This CF contains physical, personality, career and family and descriptions, as well as a section on memorable events, favorites, a detailed family tree and various artifacts from Camilla’s life. A description of Camilla’s home is included, which corresponds with the blueprints this student created for Camilla.

Though not shown in this CF, each student also created a professional-quality blueprint for his or her character’s home (drafted in standard residential scale: ¼” = 1’). Students also created detailed financial information about their character including a finance portfolio, investments, savings account, credit history and taxes.

Selected blueprints from Character Files from this classroom are indexed in this project archive as separate products: See project #258 and #259.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • A project format that combines reading, research, writing, visual arts and (not shown here, but in the finance portfolio and blueprints) math
  • A project format with a variety of mandatory and optional components to engage a range of students who have different interests, talents and work at different paces
  • A project format with a clear measure of quality for many features: it must be realistic, as judged by experts (e.g. a career description must be accurate; finances must be feasible; blueprints must be well-planned, to scale and to code)
  • A unique and engaging way for students to explore a profession, a culture or an historical period and show the depth of their knowledge and understanding
  • Strong model of expressive, descriptive writing and artistic portraiture
  • Compelling combination of writing, artwork and the creation of artifacts
  • Well-crafted artifacts that come across as quite real
  • Demonstrates a format in which individual work can be assessed

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can write narrative texts about real or imagined experiences using descriptive details and clearly sequenced events.
  • I can use my knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
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