This project is conducted for 10 consecutive school days. All
the project tasks must be completed outside of class time. The project
is not required. How many of your students would take the
challenge? (Most of mine did!)
In this project, the teacher assigns 10 projects (see below for
some ideas). Each project comes due on consecutive days, Day One
through Day Ten. Students do not "survive" if their assignments
are turned in with incorrect headings, incomplete information, or
spelling errors; or (especially) if they miss a day.
This would be an excellent beginning-of-the-year project
to reinforce the need for proper headings and spelling but it could
involve much more detailed and fun assignments such as the ones
Survivor tasks should be appropriate to the age and skills
of your students and connect to your curriculum. Tasks could involve
students with their families, or the activities could be solo endeavors.
Following are some of the tasks I created:
- Find a war veteran and discuss his or her experiences; write
a paragraph or short essay to tell what you learned.
- Find a cereal box and write down the nutritional facts. Tell
what you learned about the nutritional value of the cereal from
the Nutrition Facts panel on the box. Write a paragraph assessing
its general value.
- Make a card for someone who has helped you recently. Show the
card to the teacher to earn your Survivor point for the
day, then deliver the card.
- Create a meal plan for your family that includes at least five
items. Prepare the meal for your family. Have family members write
down their reactions.
The real test comes on Day Ten. Assign students to create their
own task, explain it, and carry it out. Then the other "survivors"
can vote on the most creative final task and determine the winner!
All students who survive to Day Ten of the competition should
earn some kind of reward. I started with 30 students and ended up
with 7 survivors. Each survivor received free homework passes and
a certificate of achievement.
Another great carrot to is to make a contact at your local newspaper,
describe the program, and get assurance that the paper will cover
the story of the students who survive the competition. A picture
and an article in the local newspaper could be a great motivator!
If you cannot get such a guarantee in advance, then a newspaper
article is an extra bonus if it does happen.
- Keep a classroom chart. Check off each task as it is completed,
or cross off names as students drop out of the competition.
- Place a banner outside the classroom to let other students in
the school know what is going on and promote enthusiasm among
students. Many students from outside your classroom will beg to
be part of the fun.