Saturday, October 1, 2011

Thinking about the summer...

As usual I am amazed at how we all sat in the classroom and got the same training this summer, yet the projects are incredibly varied. This is a reflection not only on our own personalities and priorities, but on the needs and interests of our students.

My own project attempts to connect U.S. History to Child Psychology by examining how children remember war. Students will use their own memories as well as quotes from children as far back as the civil war to gather information. They will showcase their learning by performing a voicethread.

Quotes from participants on their projects:

“I worked on a film study focusing on the segment The Homefront from ABC's news The Century, America's Time with Peter Jennings.” MC

“It will provide students with the historical context necessary to understand how the Civil War ended, and the important role that Haverhill citizens played in it. The inspiration for this unit came from the discussion of The Republic of Suffering” EB

“My project is called "How We Remember: Local Historical Monuments." Students look at a Google Earth tour of local memorials. They learn to look for symbolism and use the "Artifact Analysis" worksheet from the National Archives. Later, they create an original local monument to honor the anniversary of the 9 11 2001 terrorist attacks using what they have learned.” AJ

“My project has the students analyzing two documents, Lincoln's letter to Horace Greeley and the Emancipation Proclamation. They do so in hopes of getting a better understanding of Lincoln's feelings toward slavery as president and personally.” CC

While we know that text books are a valuable resource, real teaching tools are all around us, as is evidence of history. Books, monuments, documentaries and primary documents are brought to life for students as they go through the activities. Depth of understanding and the realization that these things really do matter to us increase as students use critical thinking skills such as analysis, comparison and evaluation in such inviting ways.

Thanks to Primary Source and History Connected in allowing us to explore these issues!

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