This program is designed to develop a sense of belief in the kids that the sum is greater than its parts. In other words, they as a team, working as one unit, can create and accomplish things which as individuals wouldn’t seem possible. The project challenges their collaboration and organizational skills, and teaches them to bring out a single vision or point of emphasis in their work.
What is a Hidden Treasure?
- A Hidden Treasure project needs a theme.A theme is a one sentence statement of what the group wants to convey. It cannot be a topic. It must be a sentence.For example, “the solar system” is not a theme. Valid Themes could be “the solar system is beautiful” or “the solar system revolves around the sun”.
- A Hidden Treasure project needs a motif. A motif is a single material item that makes the project unique. Intended to encourage the students to think creatively, not simply in paper and pencils. It must be a creatively unique item which is part of the materials central to the project.
- A Hidden Treasure project needs a project type. A project type is the overall format for what is being created. A Project Type can be a scrapbook, collage, cloth-based item, a model, a play, artwork, greeting card, a calendar, bookmarks, etc… or anything else that inspires the students. A Project Type must be complex enough to have multiple components.
- A Hidden Treasures project has sub-teams. A team must be divided into 2 or more sub-teams. Each sub-team is assigned their own portion of the project. All sub-teams must integrate their work in each page or component. For example, if the project is a calendar It should NOT be one sub-team takes six months, the other takes the next six. Instead, possible that one sub-team work on the date grid (holidays, numbers, grid, etc…) and the other sub-team work on the artwork for every month. In this way, both sub-teams must come together and integrate their work.
This program spans 3 terms or one academic year. Each 9-week term should result in one Hidden Treasures project. The students can continue in the summer if they choose.
Students can participate if they choose. If students wish to join the program in the middle of the term, they may participate on the side, but they cannot join a team until the next term.
Prepping for the Program
- The kids are divided into teams of 3-10 kids. The teams should be balanced in terms of age. The team must have two leaders, older kids, but not necessarily the oldest.
- Show and explain a Hidden Treasures with specific mention to the theme, the motif, the materials used, and the organizational complexity.
Project Weekly Activities
- Week 1 – Form the teams and ask them to choose a theme. For the next week, ask them to choose a project type and motif.
- Week 2 – State the motif / project type. Split into 2+ sub-teams, each with a role in the project. For the next week, they should define their list of materials, including quantities. Emphasis should be on not wasting, and making the most efficient use of the resources. Highlight that they will not be allowed to add materials in the middle of the project.
- Week 3 – Collect the list of materials from the kids, discuss the theme and the project. Challenge anything which seems excessive (or not enough). Ask the children to explain how the project will represent the theme. Challenge them.
- Week 4 – Give them the materials, educate the leaders. The leaders must know their role. They must have a clear idea of how the theme, motif and project are linked. Know the status of all the sub-teams Know how the sub-teams will integrate their work for the finished project. The project starts. The kids are informed that they must make the time to get it done.
- Weeks 5-7 – Call the leaders and ask for status in all sub-teams. The leader should know all the status even if they are not in one of the sub-teams. Coach the leaders in leadership and motivation skills.
- Week 7-8 – Finalize and deliver the Hidden Treasures project.
Evaluating the Hidden Treasures Project
- 1 – No Teamwork -> The kids did not meet consistently.
- 2 – Team Met Weekly -> The kids met consistently but were not clear how to proceed.
- 3 – Roles were Clear -> Sub-teams knew their part, and how it all fit together.
- 4 – Status Clear in Meetings -> Leaders kept up to date on each sub-team status.
- 1 – No Schedule -> The kids did not bother with making weekly progress.
- 2 – Little Delay -> The students delayed a week or two.
- 3 – On Schedule -> The students delivered the project on-time according to plan.
1 – Last Minute Work -> Did not attempt to make a project they are proud of.
2 – Creativity in Design -> They put effort in but ignored the motif and theme.
3 – Good Use of Motif -> The motif is used creatively throughout the project
4 – Theme Neatly Presented -> All aspects of the project creatively present the theme.