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Iconic: The black and white of our heroes and heroines

School: High Tech High Media Arts

City/State: San Diego, CA

Grade(s): 11

Format(s): Book: Nonfiction/Informational

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Social Studies, World Language

Project Overview

Eleventh grade students at High Tech High Media Arts school in San Diego California are the authors of this book: Iconic: The Black and White of Our Heroes & Heroines. To create this collection of essays each student reflected on their personal relationship with their chosen icon. The students’ selections include a broad range of categories such as art and cultural icons, family members, historical figures, humanitarians, fictional characters and athletes. The students paired their essays with black and white photographic self-portraits.

Students worked on this project in their HTHMA Publications class. Students in this class use professional writing, editing and publishing methods to generate a variety of publications for local, national and international audiences.

This book was printed as a paperback using You can purchase copies at 

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Students’ writing retains their own voice and reflects their age. Icons range from Dr. Seuss to Jonas Salk, creator of the polio vaccine.
  • The use of photographic self-portraits adds dimension to the students’ writing.
  • A nice example of students creating all aspects of a project, from writing the essays to designing the layout and selecting the fonts for the book.
  • The finished project is high quality work; the format is cohesive and professional and the level of writing is high.

Relevant Resources

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can write informative/explanatory texts that convey complex ideas and concepts clearly and accurately, using content that is carefully selected, organized, and analyzed.
  • I can write narrative texts about real or imagined experiences using well-chosen details and effective event sequences.
  • I can use the writing process to focus on what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.
  • I can use a style manual appropriate for the discipline and type of writing.
  • I can use resources to build my vocabulary.
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