A couple of years ago, we started our year in grade 8 Humanities by having the students create a user manual. It was good, but it missed the mark in a couple of ways, namely, the students didn't use them beyond the assignment. In an effort to more purposefully set students up for the work they would do throughout the year in Room to Breathe, we hacked it, and came up with From Safe to Brave.
The purposes of this beginning of the year task are:
We all learn more about the people in the room.
We can start to build trust in order to take creative risks. We want to become brave so we can do outrageously awesome things this year.
Students can hone in on the things that fascinate them, and their learning preferences, so they can make good decisions about what they want to read, write, speak, view, listen to, and represent about in Room to Breathe.
Feel free to make a copy of the slidedeck and hack it at will so it serves your learners.