PAGES Follow Up: Moments of Awe and Transformation

Miwa Matreyek performs her play This World Made Itself.  Here is a link to Matreyek's website

Miwa Matreyek performs her play This World Made Itself from Matreyek’s website.


After students’ field trip to the Wexner Center to see Miwa Matreyek, I visited Mandy Bruney and Dawn Brosnan’s class to reflect and introduce an assignment.

Here were the learning targets for the lesson:

  • I can reflect on an experience and create meaning from it.
  • I can engage in a collaborative conversation that includes both active listening and respectful participation.
  • I can gather real-world research to start the writing process.

Students began the lesson by reflecting on the play through writing (see the Power Point at the bottom of the post for prompt).  Then, we discussed what they had written.

Afterward, we introduced the assignment to gather real-world research for writing (see below) and discussed examples of “moments of awe” and “moments of transformation” in daily life.

The lesson would have ended with this video called The Beauty of a Second, which is a one-minute compilation of beautiful moments of daily life captured on film; however, technological difficulties inhibited this part of the lesson.

Here is the student outcome expected following the lesson:

Student Assignment

  • Awe: A feeling of wonder
  • Transformation: to change in form, appearance or character

Miwa Matreyek explains her process as “daydreaming” and gathering “abstract ideas” from her daily life before she actually begins to create her performances.  She describes how the piece we all saw was inspired by everything from her plane rides as she traveled for work to the dioramas she saw in a history museum.  This “real world” research eventually leads to a physical product, but the process always starts by information gathering through notes, sketches and pictures. 

For this assignment, you will begin by spending the next 48 hours gathering real world research that inspires you.  You can choose to either gather “moments of awe” or “moments of transformation” in your daily life.  You need to write notes about these things and record your:

  • Observations
  • Questions
  • Reflections
  • Sketches
  • Pictures
  • Poems   

All information you gather needs to be brought back to class tomorrow; you will continue to use it as the beginning of your creative process.   

This assignment would eventually lead into students creating a piece of writing related to these notes and observations and connected to themes in the play.  Bruney told me she plans on having students conduct a silent “gallery walk” in the classroom where student work is displayed and classmates leave post-it-note feedback for one another about the writing.  In addition, some of the students’ work might be submitted to potentially be published in the PAGES anthology.

Here are the resources for the lesson:

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