Stand Up & Social Influences
In seventh grade English, students complete a unit highlighting social influence, personal agency, and decision making in the face of wrongdoing. Students explore examples of both action and inaction in short stories about bullying, in stories about social media use and misuse, and in the lives of historical figures.
Middle school is infamous for its drama, social struggles, and bullying. The Stand Up unit begins by exploring the immense power that choice can have on peer groups and the Crane community. Students brainstorm various ways they can use that power to make campus a better, kinder, and more giving place through both action and words.
The combined class effort to improve campus is displayed on the windows of the English classroom in the Oak Tree Quad. Students created a “Take What You Need” station, where students, teachers, parents, and other Crane community members could stop by and pick up a pep-talk paper to add a little confidence, encouragement, hope, kindness, or peace of mind to their day.
Students then take a deep dive into global activism. Each seventh grader selects an activist, or a “Stand-Upper,” from a selection of 40 change-makers from more than 20 distinct countries, who support a myriad of causes. Some are historical figures, some are modern-day heroes, and others are children themselves. Each student designs and produces a punchy piece of graffiti that represents the mission of their Stand-Upper, and then present their art during a stencil walk in the Oak Tree Quad and encourages the entire school community to visit.