In The Art of Happiness learning scenario, I try to target different layers. On the surface, it mostly improves students’ digital, communicational and writing skills but in a deeper sense, I do hope the materials included touch and free their souls and take them on a gentle emotional journey.
The Give and Take process
As we elaborate on a sensitive topic, I find it extremely important to share my own feelings and thoughts about it, as well during the 5 lessons. First, the students identify the topic with the help of a Kahoot quiz and the ‘Did you know…?’ fact cards as their rewards for it.
A preparatory phase follows. Students are addressed to some questions and get some inspirational thoughts to feel more connected to the topic. For example, I asked them to give their own definition of Happiness, using the online word cloud tool Wordart.
Then, we reach the moment where the Europeana website is used. In groups, students have to create a Pecha Kucha presentation where they give their collective definition of happiness. To create the presentation, students have to browse the Europeana platform, trying to find the right pictures. Next, they listen to each other’s Pecha Kucha collections on happiness.
The second main part is the creation of a personalized e-magazine called The Art of Happiness. Students collaborate in groups and divide different tasks among them to prepare their own magazine. It includes their ideas of happiness, their word cloud, a video, some Did you know…? facts they choose. It also includes their own quotes, 10 tips on how to increase our happiness, and their favourite Pecha Kucha pictures selected from the website of Europeana.
Tools and materials
Kahoot – for pre-teaching Pecha Kucha
Wordart – for the discussion-based task
Europeana, and Microsoft PowerPoint-for the Pecha Kucha presentations
Anyflip – for creating the Art of Happiness-Personalized e-magazine
QR code – for hiding the quotes of happiness and for generating QR-codes for the columns of the magazines
Lino– for evaluation and getting feedback from the students after the last lesson
Netboard.me or Google Docs, – for collecting the content of the e-magazine
Edmodo – for sharing the magazines
Summary and reflections
This learning scenario was driven by the need for deepening a topic. A topic which is universal, easily attention-grabbing and flexible enough to fit into any curriculum. It works best with a group/class of 14-year-olds and above; Also, it requires openness, sensitivity and creativity from the teacher and the participating students.
The materials of the magazines can be displayed on 20 March at school exhibitions to celebrate the International Day of Happiness.
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The featured image used to illustrate this article belongs to the public domain. Click here to find it.