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Rockguykev Rockguykev is offline
 
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Best lesson you did this year?
Old 06-01-2012, 12:19 PM
 
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My year is over and I always poll my students what lesson they liked the most all year and compare it to what I liked (and thought they learned from.) I'd love to hear what others consider their best lesson.

For me I think I'd pick my Caesar murder investigation. Watching my students debate historical relationships at such a high level is quite amazing to see. It helps that they love it.


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Third Grade Economics Lesson
Old 06-01-2012, 07:01 PM
 
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We read about Henry Ford and the assembly line. Then we read and follow directions for making a pinwheel. I time how long it takes them to make them individually. Then we create a plan for making them assembly line fashion. We time this method as well. It is always faster making them with an assembly line than producing them individually. They love the process and have a full understanding of how the assembly line changed production in America. It takes three days to do this lesson.
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Old 06-02-2012, 06:31 AM
 
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Rockguykev, could you share the Caesar murder investigation lesson? That sounds like a great lesson. Thanks!
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:47 AM
 
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I love that Ford lab. I did a similar one when I taught economics as an elective last year to teach the importance of division of labor. Kids loved it.

Here's the Caesar lab: http://www.mrroughton.com/history-my...cold-case-rome
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Caesar murder
Old 06-04-2012, 05:22 AM
 
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Thank you so much! I can't wait to try this.


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s.s lesson
Old 06-04-2012, 11:28 AM
 
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Archaeological dig: trays of sand with "artifacts" from Paleo/ Archaic time periods, students complete an artifact analysis with much enthusiasm and small group discussion.
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Caesar murder investigation
Old 06-04-2012, 12:43 PM
 
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Would love to see yours. I did the same type of lesson based on a play, however, it was long and took up too much class time.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:50 AM
 
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I'd love to hear more about your dig. I did a simulated dig this year where I just provided groups with the artifacts and they did the analysis. I'd love to add the actual dig component to add to the experience but I can't figure out the management of it.
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:15 PM
 
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I love your idea. I think I'll try this next year. Thanks for sharing your great lesson!
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the "dig"
Old 06-08-2012, 03:57 AM
 
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Prior to the dig of the artifacts,we had done a simulation using chocolate chip cookies, toothpicks, and small paintbrushes-to teach the care needed to
excavate.
To add the exploration piece, I filled disposable lasagna style aluminum pans with sand and buried the artifacts. One for each group of four students. I had clamshells and sticks (mini hoes), shell necklaces (that I made), pottery, arrowheads. Ech tray had 2 of the same artifact so that each group had different ones. Then we had a big share time where they displayed theirs and discussed what they thought they were used for and who used them. We toured the display. I used an artifact analysis worksheet for them to record the results and guide their discussions.


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I don't think I had any
Old 06-08-2012, 05:08 AM
 
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I am hoping to read all of your to give me inspiration for next year. I think we had some good discussions though. I am good at facilitating those. I also think our vocabulary warm-ups went well.
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What People Eat
Old 06-19-2012, 04:28 PM
 
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One lesson I liked involved showing pictures from the book "What People Eat". You should be able to find the pics online. I made a ppt from them. They show what families around the world eat in a week. They have all the week's food surrounding the families from different continents.

Most of my sixth graders had never really counted the calories they consume themselves. We were doing a worksheet about reading a graph that had calories of people from different countries in Africa.

I asked them to keep track of the food they ate for lunch or dinner one day. I showed them on my smart phone how I could use the app called Lose It and it would scan a food's barcode and tell you exactly how many calories it contained. Keeping track of a meal was extra credit but the students were very interested.
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Boston Tea Party
Old 06-19-2012, 05:21 PM
 
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I had a Boston Tea Party in my classroom. I had the kids bring in tea bags for the "party." I decorated the room and made a "Boston Harbor Banner." The students dressed up as Native Americans and literally threw the tea on the floor. What they didn't know, was that I told administration to come into my room and reprimand the kids. When they told the kids they would no longer be able to bring in food or drinks from outside of school they figured out I was using administration to represent British Parliament! They loved this activity!!!

If you are going to try this activity, do not use powdered tea!!! Have fun! =)
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The King's M&M's
Old 06-21-2012, 07:12 AM
 
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this is a simulation lesson about taxation without representation.
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Make your own Artifact
Old 06-29-2012, 06:48 AM
 
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Background knowledge first: I teach handbuilding with clay. Students make small cups or bowls (no handles as they often break off.) After the clay dries, we glaze and fire. They can use their pottery to drink out of, or eat.

I distribute National Geographic magazines and books containing Mayan and Aztec art. Students select a piece the want to re-create in 3-D. They also must list the original materials, what it was used for (i.e ceremonial, eating utensil), what culture used it.

The students enjoy the challenge of making a 2-D picture into a 3-D object. I don't suggest using regular clay, as the pieces break so easily.The oily clay you don't fire or that Model Magic white material by Crayola that air dries works best. I do not accept 2-D drawings, only 3-D. This is an at-home assignment.

We play 20 questions on the day the artifacts are due. We try to guess the culture that originally made the artifact, and if it was used for ceremonial purposes, or other purposes. The students decorate their pieces. Jade head has been decorated with colored egg shells. Pots are painted. The students take great pride in their work.

A great tie-in would be to add an archaeological dig of shards from pots first. I love the lasagne pan idea. You could add the string for grids like archaeologists use. I would break some pots up and have the students find the shards, and piece the pot back together, using wet clay as the in-between "glue"
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Love these ideas
Old 06-29-2012, 02:00 PM
 
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Keep them coming! We can all make our social studies lesson more fun next year with all these great ideas.
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The Dig
Old 06-30-2012, 11:25 AM
 
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I have used pictures of the artifacts (color ) and cut them up into puzzle shapes. All the puzzle shapes have the same color on the back of the laminated artifact so we know what "pot, arrow head or tool" it belongs to. Also, just those low plastic containers work and are sturdy for an archaeological dig. You can use the "dig" for any subject, fun review of facts etc. Kids just love to find something in the "sand."
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:45 AM
 
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Well I taught K so I tweaked my lesson I used to do for older kids.

Each kid got a "passport". I had stickers and stamps with flags on them.

I had certain objects or photos from various countries placed in the room. The kids would take the object and bring it to me and tell me where they thought it was from. If right they got the stamp/sticker from that country in their "passport".


The other lesson I did with the older kids (the year before) was I printed out a fake map from some video game and drew borders on it and numbered them. I then had each kid draw a number. That was their country they were in charge of.

They had to name it. Draw a flag and choose a government type (monarchy, dictatorship, Democracy..etc) and write a paragraph on the history of their country and how it came to be.

The next lesson they shared their country I said ok everyone gets resources (I used paper clips). the different colours represented different resources. Not everyone got the same amount as smaller countries got less. I kept it simple as I had food, oil, military, tech/education and gold. We talked about what resources and things are important for a country to have.

The next lesson I explained the value of trading partners and let them trade for the resources they need. It was interesting to see them trade and some kids formed alliances and treaties and merged countries. Some kids tried to use the military paper clips to take over smaller countries but realized other countries will stop you and team up with the smaller ones.

By the end of the class period it was very interesting to see what they ended up with and how they differed from the start .

I then had them write one page on what happened and if they would have changed their strategy for homework.

I could go into further detail but I guess if anyone wants to know more they can PM or ask me.
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do you have directions and a materials list
Old 07-11-2012, 09:53 AM
 
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for making your pinwheels. I have the kids make s'mores-some are part of the assembly line and some are "the management" who observe to see positives and negatives. They make recommendations for improvement. For the second round, the students make necessary changes and switch roles. they love it!
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Make a Pinwheel
Old 07-11-2012, 09:59 AM
 
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I use a pencil instead of a dowel.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf makeapinwheel.pdf (62.4 KB, 85 views)
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Pinwheel Assembly Line - BizWorld
Old 07-12-2012, 08:20 AM
 
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Thanks for sharing.

Speaking of assembly lines, BizWorld is a free simulation where the students make friendship bracelets and sell them using Biz Bucks.

Every year Biz World offers promotions so you can get their kit for free. If you have your students take the online pre and post assessment, they mail you a new packet of embroidery thread for the next year's project.

Students an use the assembly line model or make their own.

Tell them that Francie K told you about this. I love BizWorld and I have my students work on it after state testing.
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Thank you!
Old 07-13-2012, 06:01 PM
 
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Your pinwheel directions seem very easy to follow.
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Favorite Unit (really)
Old 07-21-2012, 08:50 PM
 
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All year I teach about ancient civilizations to my 6th graders. I set it up as each civ has 7 parts: government, religion, food supply (economy), social structure, art, technology, written language. It is nice and concrete for them to comprehend and gives them direction.

For the last 5 weeks of school, each class creates their own civilization, essentially creating their own 7 parts. They make their government, laws, and have to execute their own consequences. Each citizen (student) has their own job to complete which they get paid for (or not!) and at the end of the year, all classes come together in the gym to showcase their civilization and attempt to sell the technology they created. They create their own currency and have to deal with currency exchange rates. Essentially, the class that makes the most money becomes the most powerful.
Absolutely phenomenal - and to watch the kids be so excited, proud, working before the bell rings, LEARNING, and while holding each other accountable is breathtaking )
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passing a bill
Old 08-08-2012, 10:44 PM
 
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I think my favorite in my 5th-grade class was passing a bill. I based it on a lesson by Katie Ashcroft and Lori Pettit,

http://teacherlink.ed.usu.edu/tlreso...on%20plan.html

I preceded it with the simulation activities on consensus and compromise from Max Fischer's book, American History Simulations, so the kids had some background in the need to compromise and reach agreement if they were to get anything done. I made it clear that the President (me) would veto anything impractical/unreasonable.

Instead of the form provided in the link above, I spoon-fed my fifth-graders a bit more, with a form and procedure adapted from the Princeton Model Congress materials. I showed them a sample proposal I made up, proposing no getting drinks of water in class. Then I put them in groups, gave them forms, and they came up with proposals. They presented their proposals to the class on the projector, there was orderly debate, and the committees met again to make amendments. Then their final proposals were presented to the class for a vote. One didn't pass, another exceeded our class remit and was forwarded to the principal for further consideration (she came later and discussed it with the students), and two were passed and implemented. One of these was that the kids would get a party if a certain percentage of the class got an A on a unit test. They started off proposing a party if everyone passed or something, but I heard them telling each other No, she will just veto that, and they eventually modified it to something they thought I would accept.

The kids really got into this lesson and internalized some lessons about how politics works. One group of girls even used the exact same format and language, of their own accord, in a proposal they gave to me asking me to change the seating arrangements in class.
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