As a closing and wrap-up activity for Tuesdays with Morrie, I asked my students to take out their drawings from the beginning of the semester, there initial pictures of who Morrie was.
Some of the students still had their pictures, which was great! I had them do the new activity on the opposite side of that paper. [For the original lesson, click here.]
For the students who didn’t have their pictures, I had them draw on a half-sheet of paper.
The focus: Draw three pictures that symbolize/represent Morrie Schwartz as we know him now.
These are some of the images my students drew:
- gazelle – because Morrie saw himself being reincarnated as this fun-loving, energetic animal
- heart – because even in his last moments, Morrie loved others and put them first
- hibiscus plant – because this plant followed him through his life and was always in his room
- cross – because towards the end of the book Morrie shifts from agnostic to more of a faith in God
- window – because in his last days, Morrie looked out the window and appreciated the little things
- joined hands – to represent the hand-holding shared between Mitch and Morrie and their friendship
- chair – because Morrie spent his final days in his chair but didn’t let that define him
- music notes – because Morrie listened to music and enjoyed it
I was impressed by the things my students came up with. It seemed, to me, that they went beyond the basics and really explored who Morrie was now and how he had changed.
I had the students draw three symbols and write a short paragraph (2 sentences minimum) for each symbol. This helped them to build deeper connections and also helped me see what they were thinking.
Though I didn’t take pictures of their assignments before handing them back–darn! I did find this picture on the internet which is similar to what I was going for with the symbols:
I am pleased by the results and in general, pleased that my students were willing to do silly things like draw. Even in a high school setting, I think drawing is important! It helps artistic/visual learners and it also helps to connect classroom material in a new way. For the most part, I think the students liked it, too!