Monday, July 02, 2012

Night of the Notables for Young Kids: Johnny Depp

Who needs a boring project when there is Night of the Notables?  Not only can the student delve into their individual interests, but their strengths can shine, everybody learns and everyone (student, parent and teacher) has a great time.

I heard about Night of the Notables, an Australian curriculum for gifted kids, from a friend of mine, whose son 'studied' Bruce Lee, created a display about him and acted as him on the night of the culmination of the project.  I knew immediately that my son would LOVE this kind of project.

I researched Night of the Notables on the web.  I found the Night of Notables site selling the curriculum for $100, but I also found a whole lot of information on the web for free (listed below).  The only thing I had to do was to simplify a Middle to High School project for my preschooler.

Some photos of my son's project

My son decided to study Johnny Depp.
His display included photos, artwork, curios he thought Johnny Depp might have,
a short biography, a timeline and loads of fun stickers.
My son dressed up as Edward Scissorhands.
He has never seen the movie but loves the costume!
He came up with this tough looking outfit himself.
My son as the Mad Hatter (Alice in Wonderland).
I found all the trinkets around his neck in a craft shop.
He loves it!

Now, what to do?

This project usually takes 2 months to create.  On the final day, the kids get to dress up in costume and present their display to each other and to family and friends.  On our little experimental run, my son was so focused on his Johnny Depp project, we finished it in less than 2 weeks.

This is what we did each day:

1: choose a few notables of interest (handout 1)
2: research and narrow down your choice
3: research your notable some more: create a 50 word biography and find a quote by them that you love (handout 3)
4: write 10 open-ended questions about your notable and answer them: create a curiosity box (handout 4)
5: design your display (handout 5) and costume 
6: work on your notable’s autograph, mapwork, timeline, display giveaways, such as food or artifacts or curios, make a short video (handout 6)
7: perfect your display
8: make your formal presentation (invite others to create their own Night of the Notables and create a celebration night where family and friends can meet and greet the notables)

Still have questions?  This is what we did:

Hope you have as much fun with your Night of the Notables as we have!!!


An Evening in History - with a Q and A section
Details about Night of Notables - with a good example picture of how a display should look like
The biggest little project you'll ever love - with lots of handout examples