Quick Write

Theme and Variations: Understanding Musical Style

The activity took place as part of an ongoing unit on various forms in Classical music, and also contributed to a larger, semester-long conversation about the ways in which we deal with the nebulous concept of "style" in music. Coming into the class itself, students possessed a basic knowledge of musical rudiments such as melody and harmony. For the activity itself, students had already been introduced to the idea of "Theme and Variations" form, and had listened to several examples.

Name Five

Kellie Carter Jackson, a Harvard College Fellow, created the game “Name Five” for her AAAS118 class. In the beginning of the class, she goes around the room and asks students to list five notable people of different ethnicities to help students understand the world and the power dynamics within it.

Cells vs. Buildings

Created by Kostia Bergman, Erin Cram, Wendy Smith, Scott Dobrin, Presque Isle, and Judith Roe, this lesson for an intermediate Cell Biology course encourages students to take a big-picture view of the cell by comparing cells to buildings in order to think about the dynamic processes within cells. The lesson utilizes a jigsaw and quick write.

Thought Essays

In his Freshman Seminar, Professor John Dowling assigned both basic textbook readings and supplementary readings.  Since students were to lead the discussion of the supplementary readings, John ensured that they would have something to say by assigning weekly 1 page "thought essays" that required students to draw on ideas from the readings.

Pre-Texts Poetry

In this activity, students appropriate and manipulate the words, grammar and themes of a “classic” work in order to develop their own styles as creative writers. By turning an iconic medium into a popular genre, students learn that classic writers have done the same thing, borrowing and stealing other people’s words.  

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