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Creative Classroom

Sometimes, in order to modernize the classroom, you have to take something old and make it new again. That’s what Washington High School English Language Arts teacher Megan Wounded Head is doing, thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation.

Wounded Head’s AP English class read Frankenstein this fall, and as a part of their lesson, the students were tasked with creating a creature of their own — just like the titular doctor does in the novel. Students constructed these creatures as a way to explore their fears and insecurities in the safety of the classroom.

Each student created a model of their creature, and then photographed it in situations they would have experienced in their daily lives. Wounded Head then used a Fujifilm Instax printer to print these photos on instant film, similar to what is used in a Polaroid camera. This allowed the students to instantly immortalize their creature and share it with the rest of the school.

“I want to be able to share what students create in my classes, much like we used to do in elementary school,” said Wounded Head. “In this, students live on social media through pictures, instant gratification. I’m hoping to bring a little of that world into my classroom."

The printer and film were paid for by a grant from the Excellence in Education Fund of the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation. This fund invites teachers from the Sioux Falls area to submit proposals for projects they would like to carry out in their classrooms.

While instant film is nothing new, Wounded Head was able to ignite the students’ interest by mating it to modern technology that allows them to print photos from their cell phones on the film. “The Community Foundation is proud to support the creativity of our area’s teachers,” said Patrick Gale, the Foundation’s Vice President for Community Investment. “When we empower teachers, we empower the next generation of leaders in our community.”

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