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My Spirit Animal

Wed, Nov 08, 2017

As we get closer to our opening, we will be sharing Project Proposals, examples of projects that we will be working on with students at Compass.  Keeping in mind that student voice is an important element in any project, these proposals will be a framework of projects with the potential to evolve as student interest and voice are integrated into our curriculum. However, these are meant as examples to illustrate a primary component of students’ learning at Compass.  These overviews include topic, description and curriculum connections. 

Project Topic:   My Spirit Animal

What is your spirit animal?  Is it a camel; calm, slow and thoughtful? Is it a howler monkey; loud, energetic and spontaneous.  The desire to share who we are with others by referencing the world around us is not new.  It is what has driven much of what we recognize as visual art, poetry and fashion. This use of familiar entities helps us to connect with others, find commonalities and share our values, feelings, ideas and beliefs with those around us and has been a common practice for centuries. In the age of the internet, the concept of a “Spirit Animal” has become a fun social exploration where people choose an animal that represents who they really are. It helps us relate.  It helps us find out what we have in common and, sometimes, what makes us unique.

This concept is what drives the Spirit Animal project.  As students enter Compass, one of the most important aspects we focus on is individual identity.  What makes each of us unique? interesting? brilliant? What connections and common ground can we find as a community?  How can we utilize our differences to strengthen our school?  These questions can’t be answered until students better know themselves.  This is one of the primary purposes of this project.  

Final products may include sculpted mounted animal heads covered in student writing and pictures that illustrate personal characteristics of both the animal species and the individual student.  

As students learn about themselves, they will be asked to consider their own environment, just as animals must consider theirs.

The Three Components of Curriculum at Compass:
(Content, Concepts, Competencies)

Content Connections:
Science: Ecosystems, ecological niche, biomes, ecological relationships, food webs/chains
Reading, Writing and Communicating: creative writing and composition; technical writing
Arts: sculpture; paper mache; photography
Contemporary Issues: Specific issues associated with chosen animals
- ex: Poaching, population growth, overfishing, habitat destruction, cultural significance 

Curricular Concepts:
- Identity
- Relationships
- Systems

Compass Competencies: 
- Information and Media Literacy;
- Communication and Foundational Literacies;
- Curiosity, Imagination, and Creativity