For years now, teachers have allowed students to do creative online projects over popular literary characters: a MySpace page for Romeo, chronicling his star-crossed love affair with Juliet; a Facebook page showing off the empty relationships of Daisy Buchanan, who has thousands of friends and mindless posts about parties and new dresses; or even a Twitter account in which Huck Finn cheerfully announces his progress on the Mississippi.
Now there’s yet another option for multimedia projects and the obligatory accompanying letter / essay explaining the rationale behind the student’s choices!
Pinterest acts as a virtual bulletin board where users can gather collections of images to represent a particular character. Each image, or pin, can be tagged with a description of 400 characters, imitating the voice of the character in question. Below is my sample board for Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre:
I created a board for Jane before Rochester proposes. She seems to love books, so I had her pin two books that are important during her childhood. Her pins are subdued colors, fitting for a governess, but the choices and the descriptions that I wrote reveal a keen interest in her employer and his opinions of her. She remembers everything he has said about her art and her musical skill; she treasures the “half-blown rose” that he offered her in the garden one day. First and foremost in her pins, however, is the Bible, for Jane Eyre has a strong moral compass.
Now, can’t you see a high school student coming up with something like this?!