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News: Thursday, April 15th, 2021

The Glass Castle - The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health

The Glass Castle Free Inquiry Project    Kayla Muller, English Studies 12, Rick Hansen School

Driving Question: How does theme in story telling reveal larger societal concerns?

Description: This project was broad in its scope, only asking students to link their learning to the competencies of the course and explore a theme in the memoir. The competencies they could explore were I can select and apply appropriate strategies in a variety of contexts to comprehend written, oral, visual, and multimodal texts, to guide and extend thinking, and I can respond to text in personal, creative, and critical ways. Any format was acceptable. Students then had to come up with their own critical questions to explore while writing. The process involved a project proposal and approval process before work could commence. Students could also choose to work in a group or individually.

Teacher Reflection: I love finding ways for students to explore their passions, while connecting it to a text. I find that when students can engage their passion in connection to reading that can transfer to a love of reading – or at least an appreciation of the author’s message. Every group submitted something amazing, whether that was a video outlining the effects of neglect, or a curated photo album showing how history shapes a person, they all explored aspects of the text I had not even thought of.  --Kayla Muller, Teacher.

Student Reflection: Through the free inquiry project about The Glass Castle, I enjoyed the freedom that students were given to fixate on an aspect of the book that really stood out to them. The broad criteria allowed for a more creative approach than traditional assignments which normally only allow for a small range of acceptable mediums. I personally chose to analyze the characters further and see whether the stigma against mental health may have shaped them into who they are. At first glance, it may seem like the parents chose to neglect their children and raise them in a way that seemed alarming. After considering the circumstances surrounding how they were brought up, it's clearer that they became products of their environment. Through the process of trying to understand the characters instead of trying to fit them in a certain mold, I learned more about how first impressions may lead to clouded judgements. Choosing to look through a multifaceted lens can allow for true understanding to occur. This understanding was only gleaned because of the boundless creativity that the guidelines of the project allowed for.    --Saloni Sharma, Grade 12 student.