Implementation of  “A person is looking for an author” (SOI-HR-371)

Author: Lidia Gerstman, Croatian language and literature teacher

School/Organization: Ekonomska škola, Požega, Croatia

CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Deutsche Fotothek, Höhne, Erich & Pohl, Erich (Herstellung), Dresden

During the last three years of schooling a large number of mental problems have been encountered, mainly caused by virtual teaching and isolation, which disabled adolescents in their emotional and social development and forced them to stay at home and communicate via social networks, which caused losing contacts and falling into depressive behavior. The implemented scenario aims to support students in strengthening ties between peers in the class and developing self-confidence.

Difficulties in communication and concentration 

This scenario is performed in the class community lesson, in the third grade of a vocational school, aged 17-18, 22 students in total, 18 girls and 4 boys, and I am their class tutor.

This is the generation that failed to maintain contacts from elementary school and failed to establish quality contacts with their peers in secondary school, which led to anxiety, feeling of inferiority, and the development of self-esteem based on the image of themselves on social networks, which is often not realized as students would like.

Motivation time: Think about the photo

The students observed a photo and expressed their predictions about it. The teacher instructed the students to observe, think (What is this woman doing? What mood is she in?) and then to answer the questions on the paper in front of them and collect all the papers. All predictions about the person in the photo are discussed and interpreted.

How we see each other 

The teacher announced the expected outcomes, announced the way to conduct the activity (5 times the music will stop and 5 times they have to write something on the back of the person closest to them, always a different person) and instructed the students to stick a piece of paper on each other’s back. Teacher joined the activity as well. Then the class headed towards the school corridor where they walked down in irregular directions to the music.

The questions were as follows and all of them had to relate to TODAY, how student sees the other one.

1. Today you are …. (write one adjective)

2. I see you in that color

3. I see you in that city

4. You are by profession 

5. I would marry you to this person

Discussing the answers

After five walks, class returned to the classroom, sat in a circle and everyone got a chance to comment on what was written on its back. The class teacher started the circle, answering everything written in the affirmative way, accepting what was written, but gently pointing out what would be less desirable for her. She told the students that they can freely answer each statement with a short yes or no, whether they agree or disagree, but that they must additionally explain one statement on the paper, or more, if they wish.

Students feedback

After the students commented on what was written on the back, the teacher instructed them to write on the other side of the paper what they would say about themselves today according to the same questions. Then, once again in a circle, all explained what they wrote about themselves. That part was not the content of the original LS, but it felt as a natural conclusion of the walking activity.


In the final part, students were encouraged to explore Europeana and choose a photo that would represent how they feel today. They also wrote what was written to them on paper, many also what they wrote for themselves, creating a Padlet, as a sweet reminder:

A retouched image of themselves

In addition to receiving feedback on how they are seen by the adolescents with whom they share classes, students in this implementation described how they feel and how they see their future. In this way, they got a tool with which they can model their self-image in the classroom and analyze how well their own attitude about others matches their opinion about themselves. They cooperate effectively in exchanging opinions and creating a positive environment, thinking about the image they leave of themselves and the reasons why that image is sometimes different from what is expected from their point of view. 

Media content is subject to interpretation

Students thought about how much media content is subject to interpretation that what we conclude from these contents does not have to have a significant connection with the truth that is hidden behind these contents. They discussed the views they are more or less subtly directed to by the new media and the impact of social networks on the mental health of adolescents.

Creative, expressive but very tired students

With laughter and a lot of positive surprises, the worrying conclusion was that a large number of students felt tired, hungry and stressed, although the activity took place at the beginning of the afternoon shift. Rarely did anyone write a positive feeling about themselves, and that’s also how they were mostly seen by others. Also many of them chose Europeana photos and artwork that visibly express sorrow and anxiety, which showed they are very creative and expressive in presenting their mental state. 

Europeana takes time

Like any platform, it takes time to get to know it and learn how to use it. 

Most of the students asked for more time to research Europeana because they encountered it for the first time and found more content that they would like to explore further. Therefore, I plan to propose it for students’ independent research when creating homework, reports, posters about literary periods, directing them to certain exhibitions and topics, but also about learning about copyright, which students still don’t know enough about.

Finding common preferences and interests 

In oral evaluation, students pointed out that this activity was very enjoyable for them and they learned a lot from each other, that it was pleasant to laugh together, and to see that they are not the only ones who do not feel very well.

During these two lessons, the students concluded that their peers mostly do not know them to the extent that they would like to know each other, presented some information about themselves that they are willing to share with their classmates, and expressed a desire for more frequent class activities of this type.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? A person is looking for an author (LS-HR-719) created by Marijana Trinajstić

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Public Domain Mark 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Rijksmuseum.

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