This is a project I was inspired to try after seeing another teacher do it. In their version it was a purely creative writing process. I decided to make it a reflective exercise and had the stories be written about a significant moment from the project that the class had just completed.
What Worked Well? I was happy with how much the students liked drawing and tracing. Students who were tired of using computers got to do something by hand and enjoy themselves while students who really liked using Illustrator could go nuts and have fun there too. For this project I hosted a "Campfire Stories" critique session where we put a video of a fire on the screen and had snacks and students shared their drafts of stories. This was a ton of fun and many students told me that it was a highlight for them. I need to remember to keep doing fun stuff like this for the future.
What was Surprising? I thought that I was being really deliberate in making sure that these were written as stories but I had some students struggle with the execution of this process. I gave them a big list of reflective questions to look over and had them try and identify if any of the answers brought about a scene in their minds. Instead I should have asked questions that were about specific moments in time, like "When do you remember being proud of something in this project?" or "Describe a time when you had to be creative to solve a problem." While these sound a little on-the-nose I think they would have made the process more clear for some of the class.
What Will You Never Do Again? I won't assign work like this without a template. I wasn't specific about the measurements for the beginning and paid for it later. These came in at a variety of sizes and resolutions and since I intended to make a small book with these I'm going to have a party retouching and editing these things for a few days.