Project Title: A License to Drive your Classmates Crazy
Software Used: Internet
Subject and Grade Level: 9-12 English (can be almost any subject or grade level though — History can make personalized plates for important people, math for formulas, etc.
Standards: 12.1.4, 12.2.4, 12.3.1, 12.3.2
Suggestions: One of the minor projects that students like to do is creating personalized license plates. Some students use quotes from the text (LYKAROZ for Romeo and Juliet’s like a rose), character names (JAXON HKBRE for Huckleberry Finn), or what sticks out about a character (JMZ 1 LV for My Antonia). I have my students use available sites to create the license plates so they can focus on creativity. One option is http://www.acme.com/licensemaker/, but other sites are available too.
Materials needed: computers for creating the actual license plate, construction paper, scissors, markers, glue, etc.
Lesson Plans/Directions: I use this assignment for a creativity builder on a day that students get their quizzes finished early. Before I hand out the quiz, we brain storm how to phonetically spell a character’s name from whatever novel we happen to be reading. After we brainstorm, we discuss times we may use phonetic spelling (text messages, license plates, etc.) I show an example from one of my former students to spark their imagination. I always use an example that has put in the extra touches like adding bumper stickers, registration stickers, or license plate frames. I let them use the extra class time to start the project, then they finish their plate for homework. They present them the following Monday. Students have as much fun trying to guess what the other plates say as they do making their own. This can be used for any work of literature.