Elizabeth Granger, adviser at Lawrence Central H.S., uses a research project to blend the academic skills of writing and research with journalistic goals of typography and page design. The side benefit of the project is that students gain an appreciation for their city.
Editor’s Note: Granger, “amended” a senior English research project idea to include an in-depth “Historic Landmarks” essay — along the lines of a travel article — formatted with InDesign. Granger explains the project in her own words.
(The project) is a natural blend of English and journalism. The project has produced not only interest in specific sites but also family conversations, visits to those sites and a new way to present the information.
“I learned a lot of interesting things about a city that I thought was boring,” said LC’s Brad Steinius. “I don’t get to go downtown a lot so the field trip was awesome. Doing all the research, interviewing, visiting the site, and making the magazine spread was a really cool experience.”
Taylor Hicks said, “I got the chance to go to the Indiana War Memorial and see my late grandpa’s name on a U.S. Army plaque. I was also able to do this with my father, who I rarely get to see.”
Tyler Fischl said he liked the project “because you have to get out and explore, no matter what your situation is. My family got involved and for the first time ever we all had fun exploring and gathering information. I enjoyed my time with my family.”
Becky Laffin said she typically stresses over research papers “but this one was easier because it was more of a story.”
And when she took the finished project home, her mother was so excited that she framed it.
Indiana Landmarks was so impressed with the project that it presented LC with its coveted Sandi Servaas Memorial Award.
It’s an assignment that begins, perhaps a bit on the sly, on Day 1 of the school year. Previous years’ projects are displayed on the walls of my classroom, and they generally elicit a question or two from my new students. In bits and pieces throughout the first several weeks of school, I try to kindle a spark of interest in each student by adding a little more here and there.
To see all of Granger’s report, click on this link: Landmarks by Elizabeth Granger
To see the spreads that resulted from this project, see the slideshow below.
To download these pages, click these links: