Teacher Brag: On end-of-the-year projects and Alice Hoffman’s The Dovekeepers

I’m mad proud of my freshmen right now.

student artwork inspired by The Dovekeepers
student artwork inspired by The Dovekeepers

We’re coasting into finals week in English 110. Students have finished their LAST essays, reviewed their finals study guide, and completed their Multi Genre Book Projects. This is my favorite way to end the year. It allows our stress dissipate before the frenzy of finals week. This space gives us time to reflect upon the year, visit, and best – talk about great books. That, my friends, is EXACTLY what we are doing this week.

One student chose a favorite of mine, The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. She asked early if she could go over her time limit. I didn’t tell her: It’s the last real week of school. I didn’t care if her project consisted of cupcakes and cartwheels. I said “of course, as long as it’s relevant”.

I wish I had recorded her presentation. She was so concerned about communicating the book accurately that her voice was shaking. She took us beyond the plot of the book to examine different literary elements and how they wove together to create meaning in the text. She was articulate and passionate and so utterly in love with this book.

We spoke about the book, similar novels (I suggested more Hoffman, Marquez and Olbrecht). She could barely stop talking, and I was sad that the bell had to ring, the conversation had to pause. Before she left I asked her permission to share her (can you believe this talent?!) artwork with you – and hopefully Ms. Alice Hoffman!

Please remember that these images are the property of my student. Please contact me at frommidnightoil@gmail.com with any questions.


the orchard
the orchard
role and symbolism of the doves
role and symbolism of the doves

She also wrote about the book – check out her book review in Teen Ink here!


How are you all ending the school year?









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