6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12
Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.
Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.
Tell the story of your life through your favorite songs! Playlists are a great way to showcase the events and experiences that make you unique. In this activity, students curate their own playlists and create a customized design in the Glowforge app complete with a QR code to share the music that soundtracks their life.
ISTE Standards for Students
- 1 x Medium Plywood
- Materials for customizing the Mixed Tape Postcard (e.g., markers, stickers, pens, or paint)
- Optional: Address label stickers to print and attach QR Code to the Mixed Tape Postcard
- QR Code Generator
- Music playlist app, like Spotify, Apple Music, etc.
- Read through the activity details to review the steps for completing the activity.
- Gather all of the materials needed to print, assemble, and customize the Mixed Tape Postcard.
- Familiarize yourself with six-word memoirs by exploring the Six-Word Memoir Teaching Guide resources.
- Print a copy of the My Life; My Mixtape handout for each student.
- Create a playlist with your six-song memoir to share with students.
- Have a printed version of the design as an example.
Print – 6 minutes
Assemble – 1 minute
Use this optional rubric for student self-reflection or formative feedback throughout the My Life, My Mixtape experience.
Section 1 – Plan:
- Play your 6-song memoir as students enter class. Consider playing at a low volume throughout the entire activity or class period.
- Have students brainstorm or complete a quick prewrite on the prompt:
Dick Clark once said that “Music is the soundtrack of our lives.” What roles does music play in your life?
- After students have had time to reflect, divide them into groups of 3-4 to discuss their thoughts and responses. Then, lead a full class discussion. Possible discussion questions include:
- How do you listen to music on your own?
- Do you listen to the lyrics? Or just the music? Or both?
- How do you listen to music with others?
- How do you participate in music? What instruments do you play? Do you participate in any groups, such as a band, choir, orchestra, or others that play music?
- How does music elicit emotion? Are there certain songs that make you feel a certain way?
- Introduce students to six-word memoirs. Explain that six-word memoirs are a popular writing challenge.
- They are based on a legend about Ernest Hemingway writing a short story only using six words: “For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn.”
- Sites like Six-Word Memoirs and NPR have continued to amplify these short pieces by writers of all ages.
- Provide students with more examples of six word memoirs written by young people or about music:
- Music; the salve for my soul.
- Music is definitely my love language.
- music on bus, drain out world
- Music helps me with the trauma.
- headphones on — you got this
- As a class, discuss the six-word memoir examples. Encourage students to consider:
- What do you notice about the examples?
- What makes six-word memoirs compelling?
- What are the benefits and challenges of expressing something using a six-word memoir?
- Explain to students that they will create their own six-word memoir about music’s impact on their life. Their six-word memoir that will serve as the title of their playlist or mixtape. Encourage students to return to thinking about their own experiences as well as their prewriting and earlier discussions as they create their six-word playlist title.
Section 2 – Customize and Create:
- Have students write their six-word memoir. This will serve as the playlist title.
- Have students compile a playlist about their life composed of six songs with an explanation for each track. Students can choose to use the suggested topics on the left-hand side or generate a list on their own.
- Give each student a copy of the My Life; My Mixtape handout. Explain that they will use the handout to reflect on six songs that represent their life in some way. Go over each section on the handout.
- Tell students they will use the ideas from their My Life; My Mixtape handout to design and customize a physical mixtape postcard in the Glowforge app.
- Encourage students to use the tools in the Glowforge App to add icons and text to customize their Mixtape design. Remind students not to change the mixtape’s outline. Encourage students to consider the following suggested customizations:
- Add song titles to the lines on the bottom-right hand corner.
- Delete “Our” and add their name.
- Substitute icons in place of the shapes and squiggles in the top-left or bottom-right corners.
- Add their six-word memoir to the mixtape as its title.
- Add a QR code to the top-right corner. There are two options for adding a QR code code:
- Etching with the Glowforge; or,
- Printing on an address label.
- Choose their method for attaching a QR code:
- Engraving with the Glowforge:
- Make sure that the QR codes are in PDF, SVG, JPG, or PNG file format.
- Click the plus-sign + button in the Glowforge app.
- Select Upload and select the correct file.
- Ensure that the QR code is set to engrave
- Engraving with the Glowforge:
- Address labels:
- Open address label template. These will vary based on the sticker size that you purchase. These templates are for 1” square labels.
- Download the Microsoft Word template or one of your choice.
- Copy each QR code from Flipgrid and paste it into your template.
- Note: the QR codes work without copying the Flipgrid-branded frame.
- Print the QR codes on address label stickers and distribute to each student to include on the top-right corner of their mixtape.
- Have students print their customized mixtape postcard.
- Address labels:
Section 3 – Use:
Ask students to…
- Use Flipgrid or a similar tool to record an audio or video introduction to their mixtape. Consider giving students the following options for their reflection videos.
- Highlight one or two songs and their relevance
- Discuss the overall theme of the mix tape
- Share a memory attached to one of the songs
- Follow the FlipgridAR Instructions to download unique QR codes for each video. In the Flipgrid Topic, click Print QR Codes. This creates a single sheet that has a unique QR code for each student response.
- Collect and display mixtapes around the classroom. Let students scan the FlipgridAR codes using a mobile device or watch the videos on the topic page. Students can record or type feedback to one another through Flipgrid.
Help students consider…
- How did your design customizations represent the experiences and memories associated with your songs?
- What memories did creating your mixtape help you recall?
- What other types of media can represent events and experiences from your life?
- Parts of the Mixed Tape Postcard design may be grouped together. In the Glowforge app, right-click and select “Ungroup” to customize individual parts of the design.
- Similarly, new elements can be grouped to make moving the design around the Glowforge bed easier. Simply drag-select around the object you’d like to group, right-click, and choose “Group”.
- How could this postcard be used as a helpful school or classroom sign? Consider creating a QR code to link to other media like someone speaking or reading something, or even a video of someone explaining how to do something.
- How could you use this postcard to tell your story? Customize your design using icons or artwork from the Glowforge app to represent who you are. Consider adding a favorite quote or even changing the shape of the postcard.
- Think about other materials to print this mixtape postcard with so that it can be used again and again for different playlists. Are there ways to customize the postcard so you can easily remove and replace the QR code?
- As a class, make a QR code time capsule to showcase your favorite songs or the biggest hits from the year. Hang this on the wall, along with past years, for future classes to enjoy.
The magical 3D laser printer that made this lesson possible. Learn more!