Community Building: Class Symbols Gallery

Facilitate student exploration of how an object’s concrete features (qualities students can experience with their five senses) represent abstract ideas. As symbols are culturally specific, this activity allows students to practice the thinking skills involved in symbolic analysis without assuming students have specific forms of cultural knowledge or positioning one culture’s symbols as more “correct” or “academic” than another culture’s symbols. 

Activity Steps (see slides 1 -4)

  1. Assign each student to a Google slide by writing their name in the name box. Publish the presentation so that users with the link can edit the slides (see slide 4).
  2. Students select an object they feel represents their unique qualities and paste it in the box under their name (see slide 2-4).
  3. Students describe the concrete features of their object (see slide 4 for directions). 
  4. Students interpret their object by describing what abstract qualities the object’s concrete features represent (see slide 4 for directions). 
  5. Students explain why they chose their object by connecting the qualities it symbolizes to their personalities or lives (see slide 4 for directions).

Activity Review (teacher facilitated)

  1. Publish the Google slides presentation to the web. 
  2. Set the slides to advance every thirty seconds. 
  3. Tell the students they will each have thirty seconds to explain their slide to their classmates. When the slide advances, the next student begins speaking. 
  4. ENJOY!