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More Creative Teaching
Old 06-19-2017, 03:34 PM
 
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Hi all!

I gave my students a course eval and the feedback that I recieved was that I do not provide a lot of variety (which is true). A typical day in my class consists of notes (we do not have textbooks) and primary/secondary readings. I occasionally have them create political cartoons, posters, etc. as formative assessments but I feel like am pretty repetitive. Next year, we will be one on one and I plan to add Webquests and research projects but I want to increase creativity in my classroom! Any suggestions would be appreciated. I teacher 10th and 11th Graders US History. They are great kids and deserve more stimulation than what I have been providing!

Thank you!


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lisa53 lisa53 is offline
 
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Old 06-19-2017, 04:34 PM
 
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Re-enactments? Museum visits? Role plays? Debates?

I am an interpreter at a Shaker museum, and I have often thought it would be fun for kids to review major themes in 19th century US history through a Shaker lens. Population of Shaker communities peaked in the mid-19th century, and was affected by economics, religious views, views on slavery and abolitionism, the Civil War, social programs for widows and orphans post-war, and the industrial revolution. Something like a museum visit, a look at demographics of the community through the 1800s, and then a discussion of some of the things they know about that century will lead them to understand both the increase in Shaker populations in the first half of the century and the decline of Shakerism in the latter half.

For a big question like "What were the root causes of the rise and fall of Shaker culture?" You could do a jigsaw lesson: divide the class into small groups that would be given some primary sources and a smaller question like, "How did the (industrial revolution/great awakening/Civil War/etc) affect Shaker populations?" After the groups had a chance to develop their responses to the smaller questions, reorganize the groups so that there is an "expert" from each of the previous groups in each new group...then they will have information to address the larger question.

That's only an example, but if you have any local historic museums, you can probably create some interesting introductory or review lessons that make use of the museum's resources.

Another resource in our community is the local historical society. Although schools haven't been much interested in working with our local historical societies, they are interested in working with the schools. We wish we could interest high school history teachers in joining. I'm quite sure it would be a beneficial association that would lead to some interesting lessons for kids, and provide great contacts for speakers, too.

Are there any re-enactors in your area? Any WW II veterans? Just thinking about speaker potential.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:39 PM
 
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I teach English but I used to teach a variety of social studies classes. Do you have access to any technology. When I taught world history, I would have them make videos (news reports, re-enactments with gummy bears, etc.).

One of students' favorite projects I do in class is a soundtrack. They create a soundtrack for the book or play we read. Ten songs and why they would pick them what scene would it apply to.

This year I had one of my classes do random speeches (they had to draw from a hat)- a Heisman award acceptance, winning an Oscar, a product pitch, an halftime locker room speech, etc. They had to have props and "dress" the part. I was honestly surprised how into it the students were. Kids who I can't get them up and in front of the class were super into. I think because they were playing a part. You could do speeches historical figures would give.
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