Several years ago, I got a fabulous idea from a book called What’s On Your Mind? by Joel Anderson and Joan Brinkman. One of the lessons recommends that gifted students create an “Eight Trait Floor Plan.” The students are asked to think metaphorically about what a blueprint of their attributes might look like. Which “rooms” would be the largest? How many doors would each room have – and where would they lead? The book gives many excellent questions to help students visualize this “House of Traits.”
I’ve used variations of this lesson with my GT 5th graders over the years. Sometimes the students created the floorplans in MS Excel, sometimes on graph paper. Generally a description accompanied it, whether typed or written. It’s been so interesting to see the creative ways students visualize their own attributes – from hidden rooms to indoor pools to closets with no doors. The project is always insightful for me and for them. Last year, it was an excellent introduction to their Dream Team projects.
We were kind of cutting it close on time this year, so I gave the students graph paper instead of asking them to complete the floor plans on computers. I directed them to the Periodic Table of Character Strengths to choose their traits. Instead of adding paragraphs to the bottom that explained their floor plans, they were told they could use one of the creation apps on the iPad, such as: Tellagami, Puppet Pals, or ThingLink. I promised the students who created videos that we could add some “Aurasma-tazz” by linking them with the Aurasma app.
One of the projects is pictured at the top of this post. If you have the free Aurasma app, you can follow our channel (Hidden Forest Elementary), and view the Puppet Pals video that accompanies the floor plan by scanning the image above. Or, you can view the video that I’ve embedded below.
The advantage of using the Aurasma app is that my student can take this project home, and her parents don’t have to go to a website to look for her video explanation. All they have to do is scan the picture with Aurasma.
If you are not familiar with Aurasma, which is one of several augmented reality apps, here is a link to my page of Augmented Reality Resources. This page includes links to tutorials, as well as other activities.