Throughout the unit students will demonstrate their understanding of historical concepts through a daily writing reflection, called a "warm-up." Each day, the students begin class by addressing a comparative analysis question that is reflective of the essential questions of the unit. The warm-up method has been successful in providing students an opportunity to organize their thoughts, questions, and ideas in advance of a whole-class discussion. Students refer to notes and class readings to provide support for their ideas. The warm-up serves as the prompt for class discussion and allows me to have individual dialogues with each student through feedback that I give in their warm-up notebooks. On occasion students will be required to end class with a "warm-down". This method offers an opportunity for students to reflect and to demonstrate an understanding for the contents of the lesson.
I will provide students with historical background information through overhead notes and PowerPoint presentations. Lectures will analyze specific case studies relevant to the unit, and often be reinforced by visuals, film clips, music and lyrics, and reading excerpts. Lectures are interactive; therefore students are encouraged to openly contribute questions and ideas. The interactive lecture offers a basis for further whole class discussion.
In this unit we will utilize the Role Card and the Whole Group discussion methods. These two methods have proven successful with honors students but can also be used with any group of high school aged students that exhibit intrinsic motivation, a genuine interest in the learning process.
The Role Card method
requires students to be assigned in to groups of 6 students. Each student receives a note card with an assigned role. This role informs the student of their responsibility for group discussion and provides that each student is an equal participant. The
Facilitator generates questions, while the Note Taker records group ideas onto chart paper. The
Challenger challenges the ideas of group members and the Support Provider encourages classmates to provide textual evidence. The Connector encourages classmates to connect discussion to the text and to world events, while the Task Master maintains discussion by encouraging the group to stay on task.
This discussion method requires all students to participate in their discussion group. These cards designate each student with certain responsibilities to fulfill during discussion. The direction of the discussion is determined by the Facilitator, who is to enable students to have a productive discussion by asking questions, encouraging group members to share ideas and monitoring inter-group communications.
Whole Group is a discussion facilitated by the teacher. This method of discussion is based on a Warm-up question that the students are presented with at the beginning of the period or homework questions that have been inspired by an assigned reading or film. Often the interactive lecture provides as the basis for whole class discussion. The teacher will prompt discussion by asking the class questions. These questions will require that students make connections to prior knowledge either from the course or from personal experience.
A flush is any form of creativity that expresses an individual's opinion, perspective, feelings/emotions, and/or thoughts. Flushes are in the form of writing but because a flush requires personal expression some individuals include visuals, music, poetry, or free writing in their flushes. Flushing is a learning method that I use to allow students time for personal reflection. Flushes allow student to make personal connections to our unit of study. Usually we flush after viewing a film or reading an historical excerpt that depicts the personal impact of an historical event.