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The Ultimate Rabbit Hole (MGPs)

by Jess Haney at West Liberty-Salem

When I was working on my Bachelor’s at Wright State University, I was taught by Dr. Nancy Mack for one of my English Education classes. I can’t remember exactly which class it was, but one assignment for the class I still use to this day is the work we did with Multi-Genre Projects. In case you are unsure what a MGP is, it is a research project where an individual tells the story of an event or person with different genres. Each piece of writing tells a different part of the story. I usually have the students use five different pieces of writing and it takes us about three weeks to complete it. 

I chose to do my Project on my great grandmother and a relationship she had just after her husband passed away that I knew nothing about at the time. It gave me a great opportunity to interview my grandfather, great aunt and my great grandmother’s cousin before she passed away. 

I never got to fully perfect my version of the project when I taught in England. The groups I wanted to do it with were always far too busy working towards and studying for their GCSE exams. However, in one rare year I had a group who completed their exams early, so was able to get them to do it. It anything, it provided me with some excellent examples to use when I moved back to Ohio and started working at West Liberty-Salem.

It’s been six years since moving back and I would say that every year I have been able to incorporate the MGPs has been a great success. Even last year when we went remote, and I had to tweak A LOT, my sophomore never cease to surprise me with their creativity and enthusiasm for their stories.  

One of the reasons why I love this project so much, is that it’s a great way for me to see how much they have learned regarding MLA Format, using credible sources, peer reviews and feedback. Since each student chooses their topic (it must be based on truth) it becomes the ultimate “going down the rabbit hole” project. The creativity I see in genre choices, topics and finished pieces is always so impressive.

Sure, not every MGP is a success, but how often does someone get the opportunity to learn about creating and formatting an obituary, or get to make a “could have been” album cover, or get to submit an English assignment in an “evidence” bag? What’s more Pages than that?

MGP on The Dead of Hitler
MGP on the Murder of an Ancestor

MGP on the Life of Julia Childs

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