Pulling rank

9 Mar

The kids had just started on their reflections about the governments of the four river civilizations we are studying when a question came up:

If first is gold, second silver, and third bronze, what is fourth place?

I’d asked them to rank each civilizations government and given them a wide berth. Their reflection could be in written or visual, by hand or electronic. They rise to the creative options. I had shown pictures of ways to represent or rank four things and many had latched on to the idea of a winner’s podium, hence the question about winner’s medal colors.

This sparked a discussion of alternatives to metal medals. Ribbon colors were discussed and I had a burning question You see, as a kid in Canada, I remember red being the first place ribbon. One of the upsides of teaching remotely is that I can text my twin sister in real time. I asked her my burning question and her reply came back quickly:

in sports: red, blue, white
in a fair: blue, red, white

I shared this news with students, but also let them know that they could choose whatever color combination struck their fancy. Their reflections aren’t due until Thursday, but I am already looking forward to see what students produce – and which colors they chose.

6 Responses to “Pulling rank”

  1. arjeha March 9, 2021 at 7:20 am #

    I like how you gave your students the color order for ranking and then told them to use whatever strikes their fancy. As you say, it will be interesting to see what they use in their ranking system.

  2. hzreflections March 9, 2021 at 7:24 am #

    That is interesting how the colors are represented differently. I also like your lesson idea for sorting by ranking.

  3. WOWilkinson March 9, 2021 at 7:43 am #

    Sounds fun. Will they explain the rationale for the rankings too?

    • Adrienne March 9, 2021 at 7:48 am #

      Absolutely. That’s the part I am most interested n and they know that.

  4. jumpofffindwings March 9, 2021 at 7:59 am #

    This sounds like a terrific, ( symbolic), and engaging activity for your students—and for you. I’m thinking about how the colors that represent THEM, their rationales, would be another layer to our identity exploration. I get so much from you—even if I vector-off. (I’m thinking about Shel Silverstein’s poem “Colors” now.) Thanks, Adrienne. Enjoy the kids’ sharing their “ribbons.”

  5. Lisa Corbett March 9, 2021 at 4:22 pm #

    I cannot get on board with the red ribbon being first place! It throws me off every time. At our school we give ribbons for track & field. In order: red, blue, white, then green, yellow, orange but I forget their order. Kids usually just want their favourite colour!

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