A Chance to “Grade” My Students

by beccaborrelli

I began piloting curriculum a month ago exploring ways young people curate with social media. A good friend and talented teacher allowed me access to one of her ninth grade art classes, and off we went!

The seven students involved in this project created online image collections that curated ONE WORD.

“To curate” (v.) the process of sifting through massive amounts of stuff in order to create something meaningful for presentation. 

Everyone curates to a more or lesser extent. You curate when you skip over the angry cat meme in your Facebook newsfeed in order to click on an ESPN link from last night’s game. Curation is selecting your attention. There’s a lot of reasons I think this is an important thing to learn about… but that’s a post for another time.

Here’s where YOU come in to our project.

Image choices send powerful messages about the curator who compiled the collection. In the real world curated collections of online images aren’t given a letter grade. Rather, they’re given feedback in the form of shares and comments (positive or negative.)

When these ninth graders saw some of my friend’s Instagram collections, this is what they said:

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Male, Mid twenties, living in a major city, large urban area. Someone who likes graffiti art and photography. Personality: He seems cool. He seems like he’s good with people and would be exciting to make art with.

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Female, early to mid twenties from Austin. Someone who likes dogs and cycling. Personality: She seems like she has a sense of humor, but also relaxed and cool to just chill with.

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Male, late twenties- early thirties who lives on the coast. Someone who loves the outdoors, sports and photography. Personality: He seems fun and playful, someone to have a good time and play games with.

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Female in her thirties or forties from a northern city who loves crafts and doing things with her family. Personality: She seems warm and caring, very mothering.

Granted these are huge generalizations, but were also the impetus for some pretty great convo on how we ALL collect and present images to express ourselves.


Below are links to their collections.

Check them out (there’s only seven).


On each blog is a link that says ASK ME.

Click on it.

Make guesses about their hobbies. Their personality. Their background. Then click SEND.

Your comments will go directly into the hands of these art students looking for feedback on the ways their image collections express themselves to strangers.

Why should you do it?

Because you have a lovely heart.

Because you’re my friend.

Because you’ll be helping young people learn about themselves and art.

Because of karma.

OR… if you’re the incentive kind… each time you post on one of their blogs I’ll enter your name into a drawing for an art print of your choosing (by moi.) The drawing will be one week from today: Wednesday February 13th. 


(and thank you) 🙂


LAUGH by Somira



DOODLE by Chassidy

TWISTED by Michaela

LIGHT by Porsche