Greenfield Library Gallery

Bios and Bottles Turn Greenfield Lockers into Museum
Posted on 05/16/2021
This is the image for the news article titled Bios and Bottles Turn Greenfield Lockers into MuseumBefore Greenfield School’s academic year ended, Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Sammy Sosa, Peyton Manning and Stephen Curry were all seen “hanging out” at the middle school lockers. And while that was a feat in itself, they were spotted alongside Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, Bob Marley, Walt Disney, Stan Lee and Tesla.

How this coming together of celebrities, entertainers, sports figures, comic giants, engineers and historical leaders came to be is a story of reading, recycling, and reclaiming.

School librarian Judy Martin has made a career of encouraging reading. She regularly celebrates students who have earned Top Point Earner status using the school’s Accelerated Reader program that tracks reading practice and comprehension. She even arranged for a limo ride and lunch out for members of the Million Word Club. But museum curator is a new addition to her resume.

The role came after she decided to add a twist to the traditional biography reports she required of 6th-8th graders in the past. Inspired by an idea shared among librarians online, she worked with teachers LeeAnn Usery, Tiffany Crouse and Denise Douglas to challenge students to read their biographies and then recycle a plastic bottle into a representation of the selected subject.

Once she saw the creativity the assignment generated, she next considered how to inspire the rest of the school.
Lockers, empty due to COVID-19 protocols, caught her eye. Soon each locker was reclaimed to serve as a display case in her pop-up gallery.

Students also had to write a short summary of the person’s life, answer an AR quiz, and complete the title cards stating who the “bottle biography” portrayed and what made them famous.

Principal Jeff Cupples said engagement was what he has come to expect from Martin.

“She is a teacher who is proactive, always prepared and has a plan for our students’ learning,” he said. “This project is one more case in this very different year of how, when challenged, we can make a positive out of a negative. Turning unused lockers into a gallery is certainly that.”

bottles that look like biography subjects
Greenfield 6th, 7th and 8th graders read biographies and then recycled materials to create more than 100 bottle biographies which were then exhibited in reclaimed lockers.
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