English 9: Who Am I (at the Moment) and Who Do I Want to Become Begins …

Dan Ryder

Dan Ryder is a 17-year veteran English teacher and improv coach at Mt. Blue Campus in Farmington, Maine. An adjunct instructor at the University of Maine at Farmington, Dan presents workshops on technology integration, improvisation and design thinking throughout the state and beyond.


Last week we started our year long theme, though I didn’t say anything about it being our year long theme because … uh … I’m not sure why.  But I didn’t …

Who Am I (at the Moment) and Who Do I Want to Become is all about exploring our identities, our personalities, our values, our abilities, as they are right now, determining who we want to become in the future, and asking the most important question: how might we get ourselves from here to there?

Last week we looked at our multiple intelligences and our mindsets.

We used this survey from LiteracyWorks to help determine our multiple intelligences and took screen shots of our results. Here’s an example:

growth mindset

Later in the week we examined to extent to which we have growth and fixed mindsets. We started by looking at objects in the room that represent how we feel about our intelligence. We each chose one, took a picture of it that highlighted how it represents our feelings, and then put it back.

growth mindset

We watched this video that helps explain the difference between the two.

Two of the three classes did some work with scenarios, looking at how someone with a growth mindset would respond to a situation vs how someone with a fixed mindset would respond.

Then we used this inventory from Mindset Works to determine where our mindsets fall on the spectrum between fixed and growth.

We took screenshots of the results again.   This time, however, we also found a sentence from the results that we believe describes us very well — the inventory nailed it — and a sentence that we were not so sure accurately describes who we are — ehhhh..not sure sure about that one- — and put those sentences in a Google doc.

To bring it all around full circle, we then wrote about how the object we found at the beginning represents our mindset — whether fixed, growth, or somewhere in the middle.  We put that on a Google doc and then some folks started to copy and paste that information to their blogs.

Here’s a sketchnote of how we went about doing this work.

growth mindset

If students were able to get all of this work done in class last Thursday and Friday, they did not have homework. Otherwise, they needed to finish completing the survey, finding the sentences that describe and do not describe their mindset, and then explain how that object represents their mindset.


Now …  Monday and Tuesday …

Tuesday may look a little different but here’s what happened on Monday …

We explored the basics of sketchnotes!

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Poetry Jenga

Then we worked with poetry Jenga and created a few poems in the moment.

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Then we started reading “So What Are You, Anyway?” by Lawrence Hill, a story about a young woman on a plane dealing with some less than kind fellow travelers. I explained how the Notice/Wish/Wonder graphic organizer works.

Then we broke into 4 Stations, each of which are described on the sketchnoted signs below with instructions. Anything that was not completed in class became homework due at the next class.

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