Grades 9-12 Winter 2017 Project: Intro & Step 1

If you were a child between 1980-2002 (or possibly before or after), you very well might remember the “Create Your Own Adventure Books”.  These books invited young readers to make choices for characters, deciding which way to turn, who to listen to, what to say, where to go, and more and the seeing the consequences of these actions on the page.

“To turn right, go to page 83.  To learn left,go to page 152.”

For most of us, this was a thrilling experiment seeing what actions led to which consequences.  Unfortunately, real life is never this simple.  In the books, the consequences were planned ahead and actions and reactions clearly matched.  In real life, one small change impacts everything that happens next.  Sometimes, individuals refer to this as “The Butterfly Effect”.  Tons of books and movies have reveled around the concept that by changing a choice we can change the course of items to come, and there’s quite a bit of truth to that.

…But what if we could change something in real life? What kinds of situations could change? What relationships could we build by changing one distinction in our story? How does our perspective change the outcome? If there’s a change in the system, does it change the consequences?

December 2016-March 2017, we will be exploring that concept in depth.  We are going to create our own alternative endings.  That embarrassing thing at school today? Change it. The one time you went there but shouldn’t have? Alter it.

What action could have changed the reaction? What do you wish you’d said? What actually happened at all?

Step 1: To start this project

Pick a situation or problem.  Something that could have/should have had a different outcome in your life.  This should be a real scenario that focuses on your actions and your consequences.  It’s about you.

A word to the wise: if you’ve never done this sort of deep thinking, metacognitive probe into your own mind, I highly encourage you to choose something light. Often when we are too emotionally close to something, it clouds our ability to gain perspective and identify potential consequences or outcomes.

So go get started! Make a list, a chart, an idea/vision board, whatever you need to get thinking about a situation you’d like to change.  That’s step one.  Pick the situation, and get thinking!

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