What is your favorite quote about your subject? The one that you’ve got printed and pinned above your desk, or on a coffee mug…or tattooed on your arm. As a #HealthEd teacher I’ll suggest to my students that “The greatest wealth is health” or ask them “Without health what are we?”.
I used to ask students to write an essay justifying the place of health on the curriculum and over time I would see the same health quotes from the same internet searches. Each time a new quote was presented to me I would print it out and put it on display on my ‘Quote Wall’, with students ever eager to find a new quote that could be added to our display. Eventually I realized that I was always on the lookout for great quotable sentences and started to highlight some of the more profound, original thoughts from my students. These too found their place on the ‘Quote Wall’ and over time students new to the class would be inspired by, and quote from their peers who came before them. I too started quoting from past students with one quote still on display 8 years later, from a student who has now graduated from college and yet still inspires my current sophomores.
This week, my bell-ringer activity was to ask students to complete the prompt “Health is….”. They know that I’m very active on social media and I asked them to try and restrict their response to 240 characters or less. They brainstormed ideas, refined their language and then shared their final quote with me via Polleverywhere.
When I told my students that I planned on sharing the best responses they immediately started brainstorming. I am proud of my students and like to share their great work and I think it is important for all teachers to do so whenever possible.
We can not justify asking students to work hard on an assignment but then for it to be seen by only them and myself. You can extend the life of the work created by students by sharing it on social media. Quoting students and then watching their words bounce around the Twittersphere is a pretty cool experience for teachers and students alike.
Once I had gathered my final list of quotes, I used Canva and their simple to use templates to add style to my students substance before sharing them on various social media platforms. The positive feedback, questions and ‘likes’ came almost immediately and I was able to pass this back to my students. Within 48 hours their work had been seen by over 5000 people across the world, and now has a life of its own.
I was pleased with the quotes from my students and considering that I have only just met them for the start of this quarter it does help me understand a little about how they frame health. I wonder if their responses would be different if I was to repeat this activity at the end of the semester.
Check out “5 Steps for Energizing Your Health Class” that will help students get the most out of their time in the classroom and have them running to your class, eager to learn.
For more on how I use Canva, you should read “Canva in the Classroom”
You can download all of my students quotes here.