Student putting labels on packets of books.

Student putting labels on packets of books.

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 Project Name: Literacy 4 Life 

Facilitator Names: Trisha Burns and Angela Spurgeon

Grade: 8th

Subject(s):Math and English

Course Name: Pre-Algebra and English 8

Project Description & Content Topics Addressed: Students choose a charity to donate new Usborne books to. They plan and run their own fundraiser while researching the literary devices. They purchase books, put in their created bookmark full of research and statistics for parents with small children, wrap the books and deliver them to the charity.

Math: Slope, real world application to slope intercept form of an equation and surface area, and some basic budgeting concepts and percents, transformations in the design of the insert/bookmark

English: Literary devices, research standards, editing

A. Learning Goals: Content Knowledge & Skills Addressed (Standards)

  • Students will be able to interpret real world interpretations of slope and y-intercept.

  • Students will be able to identify and discuss the literary devices and find them in children’s stories.

  • Students will be able to find the surface area of their books they purchase to estimate the amount of wrapping paper they need.

  • Students will be able to research statistics and strategies around early childhood literacy.

  • Students will be able to use transformations to design the insert.

B. Driving Question: How can we promote early childhood literacy in our community?

C. Entry Event: Literacy 4 Life Entry Event

D. Benchmarks & Scaffolding

E. End Products

F. Rubric(s)

G. Community Partnerships

  • Usborne Books and More consultant

  • Local organizations like Book Buddies, Love Chapel Food Bank, Boys and Girls Club, Neighborhood Family Centers, Su Casa (Hispanic organization), Advocates for Children, Turning Point (Domestic Violence Shelter), Horizon House (Homeless Shelter) etc.

  • Local businesses donated money and people who helped the students with their fundraising

Inquiry: By researching the different local organizations, students were able to decide who they wanted to help.

Student Voice & Choice: They chose organization to work with, books to purchase, fundraiser, insert design

Authenticity & Relevance (Real-World Connections, Applied Learning, Active Exploration): There are some alarming statistics around childhood literacy and how it affects the rest of their life. Students researched different charities or organizations in our community who help children. They got to talk to the directors of the organizations to answer questions that the students wrote to see if the organization can help distribute new books for the holiday season.  

After students found out about the age group and amount of books the organization could give out to individuals in the community, they created a wishlist from the Usborne website. They added up the total of all of the books, and found their daily goal needed to raise the money needed in 10 days. Then they had to make a plan to raise the money. Some groups chose to call businesses, some talked to local churches, some created fundraisers within our school or in local elementary schools. Each group ran their own fundraiser and kept track of their funds on a graph. Part of the project was for the students to read an extra 300 minutes to help them improve their reading too. Students had to write journals that they got to choose from a list of topics. When the 10 days were over, the students got to complete a real Usborne order form that spent as close to their exact amount of money they raised.

Lit 4 Life-Flyer.jpg

They had a literary device scavenger hunt to do in sample Usborne books so they could get an idea on different books that Usborne offers. They also created their own insert (bookmark, brochure, flyer, coloring sheet) that they put in everyone of their books packed full of strategies and statistics that they had researched for parents of elementary students to know how to help them with their reading. Then they had to find the surface area of the books to estimate the amount of wrapping paper they needed. They wrapped their books and delivered to their organization to hand out at their holiday parties.

Employability (21st Century) Skills Addressed:

  • Agency: building relationships, building confidence, meeting benchmarks, impacting self and community, seeking feedback, finding personal relevance/ Agency Rubric

  • Written Communication

  • Oral Communication

  • Collaboration: Collaboration Rubric

Formative & Summative Assessment Activities

Required Materials and/or Tools: Wrapping paper, tape, gift tags, and an Usborne consultant 

Also depending on what the students choose for fundraising, some of the groups’ ideas took a lot of materials!

Examples of Student Work