"It was an epiphany!" said Christy Brown of the A Separate Peace Concept Fair. She was contemplating a night of ways to convey the important information of the novel to her students in an effective manner. She wanted her students to walk away from the novel completely understanding all of the concepts. A simple lecture would not do the job. She needed something more influential; something that would congeal to the minds of her students.
She brainstormed and art fairs came to mind. In an art fair, people rotate between booths to absorb all the information the presenter was trying to put across.
This idea was perfect for what she was trying to achieve. She quickly put her plan into action. All of her CP English II students were given a list of concepts ranging from character foils as they relate to the novel to Finny's reversals as a character. Students were to construct a display booth which depicted their assigned topic and on a given day they were to present their findings.
"They did extremely well," Mrs. Brown said of her students' presentations. She was pleased. When asked why this method worked better than a monotonous class lecture she said, "I believe the students learned better from their peers. They were not afraid to join the discussion or ask questions."
Her students felt the same way. "I felt at ease learning from one of my friends. It was much easier to jump in and start talking as they presented," said Austin Phillips.
This was Mrs. Brown's first year assigning this project but she will use it for years to come.