One of the most effective ways of personalizing a subject ... Embodied learning!
Students are given a brief description of a theme, for example: Great Explorers, Great Environmentalists, Great Artists, Unsung Heroes, Animal Healers, The Council of All Beings ... and within a couple of weeks, start to become their characters.
Over a period of several weeks students gather and share stories in the first person ("I") to expand collective knowledge, discover connections, and build a her/his-storied community. Students create journals detailing personal and historical influences on their characters ... some journals are aged, contain maps and illustrations, all are hand done. (fountain pens are fun)
Before presenting, students develop simple costumes, props and artefacts to enhance their presentations. They distill important events into short dramas that will use audience participation.
Students are invited to present their dramatis personas in a café format. We start with a talent show with food made by students and segue into presentations ... These included Laura Secord (note cow), Queen Elizabeth, and Bob Marley ...
Ovid's Metamorphoses on the Oak Ridges Moraine
We used Mary Zimmerman's text to inspire exploration into the psycho-socio resonance of Greek myths. Students contributed original poetry and text in Esperanto and we created a film integrating wild spaces with vibrant psychological archetypes.