From Film Analysis to Design Thinking, Theme, and Links


Thinking, Creating & Sharing



After completing a close viewing of our visual text, 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape', directed by Lasse Hallström, I wanted the students to show a deeper understanding. As the film highlights many themes still relevant today, this was also a way of sparking ideas, leading into their personalised inquiry and oral presentations. 

The Brief

Working collaboratively, their challenge was to create a sculpture that encapsulates a relevant theme. Next, they needed to report back to the class, discussing the links to self, other texts or current events / issues.  
From dysfunctional to reconciliation - Gilbert is Momma's "knight in shimmering armour"
Students share their themes with the class + actively listening 




The Grape family needed to be resilient to face their future together
Our short term visitors get involved

Engaged & enjoying the spotlight


I was very proud of their efforts. It was exciting to see so many engaged, focused Year 10 students. It will be interesting to see how these translate into their formative response to visual text essay later on.

The Benefits

There are many added bonuses for employing design thinking in the classroom. Many learners enjoy the opportunity to become makers. Creating tactile sculptures takes the focus off themselves and onto the things that count - collaborating, creating, thinking at deeper levels, speaking, presenting and  the opportunity to consolidate learning in a non threatening way. Students were able to apply their new knowledge of symbolism, and articulate the theme that stood out for them. Don't just take my word for it though - here's what Caitlin, Lauryn and Cole say about their learning this year.

The power of Communication - some characters are open & communicative, whereas the rest are not. Each name is pegged onto the open or closed cup  - the coloured pegs symbolise their disposition