English teacher Casey Fleming is only a recent addition to the MAST community, but she has already had a unique impact on her students.
Over winter break, she assigned an Instagram project, known as “Read Baby Read.”
While students read a book they chose from a list, they were required to post 14 corresponding Instagram photos using the #readbabyreadbookclub.
Many students created new Instagram accounts with the purpose of solely posting photos for Read Baby Read.
The book choices students were given were: Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, Jeffery Archer’s Kane and Abel, Jeffery Eugenides’ Middlesex, Zora Neal Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, among others.
“For some, writing about reading is much more difficult than discussing reading; and so, because I love photography, I dreamt up #readbabyreadbookclub as a way to inspire the seniors to go out in the world over winter break and capture pictures that represented the big picture and themes of their chosen reading book,” Fleming said.
Fleming, who likes to remind her students they are “alive, awake, and great,” uses the project to teach AP English Literature and English Honors students to relate things they read in books to the world around them.
Students posted pictures with their books in different parts of the world, quotes they liked from their book, and pictures that reminded them of something from their books.
“I thought it was cool to share our posts because it got me to think about the work in an abstract sense instead of a literal one,” senior Daniela Muinos said, who read Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Over break, students would often check the hashtag to see what other students were posting, and what they were each taking from the books.
“We had 1,180 posts over break, just 360 shy of perfect posting since students were asked to post a total of fourteen images over break,” Fleming said.
Fleming’s first attempt at the project was over the spring break of 2014 at Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High.
Those students posted under a different hashtag, so the only pictures found under the hashtag belong to MAST students.
“Do not be surprised to see the seniors continuing #readbabyreadbookclub over spring break, and it is my dream that they continue it on their own with all of their reading,” Fleming said.