Author Archives | waberry

Lost and Found (15MS607)

This lesson is for : Grade 6,Grade 7,Grade 8:

Summary

The exceptional education teachers group the school’s functional program students into various roles for this lesson depending on their individual capabilities. One group of students collects and labels the school’s lost and found items and organizes the items into a rolling wardrobe. Another group of students is responsible for documenting the lost and found items in a Google Spreadsheet, which identifies color, type of item, size, date collected, and other identifying characteristics of the item. A third group of students photographs the lost and found items, uploads these photos to a shared Google Drive folder, and links these images in the lost and found spreadsheet.

A link to the lost and found spreadsheet is placed on the school’s website, so that parents and students can search through the lost and found items at home. Students and/or parents who wish to claim a lost item fill out a Google Form  located on the lost and found spreadsheet. When a form is submitted, a fourth group of exceptional education students receives an email (via FormMule) containing the item number and the name and HCPS email address of the student that requested the item. The group of students that organize the lost and found wardrobe search for the item in the wardrobe based on its characteristics. Once an item has been located, the group of “email” students take turns and use their HCPS email account to send an email to the student who has lost the item. The functional program student that writes the email coordinates a time where the item can be delivered to its owner during APP (study hall period). Before these emails are sent to the student, they are sent to the exceptional education teacher, who has the student verbally reflect on the email message by comparing the contents of their email to the teacher’s rubric. The email group also participates in a short lesson on email (similar to the activities described in the step-by-step instructions on this site) before beginning the lesson in order to prepare for this  task. All functional program students, regardless of their group and role within the assignment, take turns delivering the lost and found items to their owners during school hours.

TIPC Ratings

Research & Information Fluency

Rating: Not Observed – Explanation:

Communication & Collaboration

Rating: Ideal – Explanation:

Communication and collaboration skills are the main focus of this lesson. The teachers divide the functional program students into teams and assigns each student a role based on his/her individual capabilities. There are four groups/roles for this particular lesson (closet organizers, photographers, spreadsheet data entry, and emailers), and each group collaborates to ensure that the lost and found items are organized, displayed for the school community, and returned to their owners.

One of the goals for this assignment is to display and communicate the school’s lost and found items to teachers, parents, and students in a way that does not require physically sorting through a large amount of items, as this act can be too time consuming during the school day. The lost and found spreadsheet allows an interested party to filter the lost and found based on item characteristics (item type, size, etc.) and use the item images to locate their personal belongings regardless of their physical location. Another goal of this assignment is to have the school’s functional program students communicate and interact with other students that they might not have a chance to meet or interact with otherwise. One group of students in this assignment uses their HCPS email accounts to learn how to communicate and coordinate with their peers. The students who are not developmentally ready for this particular task still have the opportunity to help with the overall project AND communicate with other students in person when they return the lost belongings.

The task for this assignment is authentic, as it allows students to practice skills that they will need after graduating from school, such as email etiquette, organization, and face to face communication. Additionally, the lesson serves the purpose of making the school’s lost and found less of a hassle and providing a service to the students and parents in the school community. Throughout the assignments, functional program students reflect on their roles as communicators by reviewing their emails, discussing how to interact with other individuals face to face, and discussing what would happen if lost and found were not organized in a community.

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

Rating: Not observed – Explanation:

Creativity & Innovation

Rating: Not observed – Explanation:

Student Artifact

Lesson Materials

H21 Lesson Artifacts

Posted in Middle School, Comm/Collab - Target, Exceptional Education, Grade Level, Project, TIP Chart0 Comments

Moments in Time (15MS605)

This lesson is for : Grade 8:

Summary

The goal of this assignment is for students to complete independent research on a topic of their choice. Students complete research on two separate occasions, once during the first semester and again during the second semester. After completing research on their topics, students create “Moment in Time” audio clips and embed these clips into a Google Site. On the day of the each student’s “Moment in Time,” his/her research is shared over the school announcements. Students at the school are encouraged to access the website in order to find additional information on topics that pique their interest.

Another goal of this assignment is for students to continually reflect on their work and the research process. After the first semester assignments have been completed, students listen to each other’s podcasts and critique their work and the work of their classmates. Based on these discussions, the students adapt their research process for the second semester as necessary.

TIPC Ratings

Research & Information Fluency

Rating: Ideal – Explanation: One of the main goals of this assignment is to have students practice research skills and investigate a topic that holds personal interest. As such, research and information fluency are the main focus of this particular assignment. During the first semester portion of the assignment, students complete basic research on the topic of their choice. Students use sites like “This day in history” to find topics that interest them and then use search engines to delve deeper into their topic. In order to help the students improve and develop their research skills, the first semester products are used as a learning tool for the students. The students review each other’s work and reflect on which “Moments” are best and which research is the most reliable and relevant.

Based on this reflection, the structure for the semester 2 is adapted. All students create research questions to guide their individual research and assemble, organize, and synthesize their sources to create their final “Moment in Time.” Students do not just present the basic facts (who, what, when, where, how, etc.) about their topic. Instead, they use these facts to create a statement/conclusion about that event/person’s importance, relevance, and/or connection to the current world. The students display their final Moment and the research that led to this Moment on a Google Site. On the day of their Moment, the student’s Moment in Time script and accompanying song are played over the school announcements. Students who are interested in learning more about the topic are directed to the Moment in Time website, where viewers can interact with the information and explore the student’s provided research.

The task at hand is authentic because the lesson allows the student to investigate a topic of his/her choice. This lesson models the thought process that is necessary for answering high level historical questions. Additionally, the students have an audience for their research. The student’s Moment’s In Time are broadcasted over the school announcements and published online so that other students can explore the topics that pique their interest.

Communication & Collaboration

Rating: Developing – Explanation: The students embed their audio and research into a Google Site. This allows student to communicate their research with their classmates and the rest of the school.

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

Rating: Approaching – Explanation: In this lesson students generate their own purposeful and higher order historical research questions. The students use search engines to locate information that helps them to think critically and respond to these questions.

Creativity & Innovation

Rating: Approaching – Explanation: The students use Audacity and Soundcloud to create a short “Podcast” about their Moment in Time and share their creation with an extended audience via a Google Site.

Student Artifact

Lesson Materials

H21 Lesson Artifacts

Posted in Middle School, Info Fluency - Target, Comm/Collab - Dev, Critical Thinking - App, Creativity - App, Gifted, Grade Level, Project, Subject, TIP Chart0 Comments

Voyages of the Human Condition (15MS608)

This lesson is for : Grade 8:

Summary

As students participate in a unit on Greek myths, they complete activities and engage in discussions about common themes within these myths that relate to the “human experience.” These themes include the importance of wisdom and strategy, the consequences of arrogance and stubbornness, the power of human achievement and determination, the effects of unrequited love, and the sadness of human suffering. As a culminating assignment for the unit, students learn about the existence of NASA’s “Golden Record”, how it contains sounds and images that “portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth,” and exists to introduce human life to an alien culture. Students choose one “human experience” theme and create their own version of the Golden Record for their chosen theme. Students use Google Draw to display pictures or create drawings that represent their theme. Within the Google Draw image, students link the lyrics to a current song and a “sound” that they create/record that also relates to their selected theme. Students write a short essay in which they reflect on the metaphors, imagery, and other literary and visual devices that are incorporated into their final product. Student work is displayed on a Google Site, which allows the students to view, analyze, and critique each other’s work.

TIPC Ratings

Research & Information Fluency

Rating: Not Observed – Explanation: Research and Information Fluency are not a focus of this particular lesson.

Communication & Collaboration

Rating: Developing – Explanation: Students upload their work to a Google Site, which allows the students to communicate and share their ideas with their classmates.

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

Rating: Approaching – Explanation: Critical thinking and problem solving are a focus of this lesson. In this lesson, students use a variety of digital tools to think critically and respond to higher order questions. Students take pictures, record audio, and use Google Draw to create media that creatively represent various “human conditions” from their perspective. Students justify their artistic choices in the written reflections that accompany their media.

Creativity & Innovation

Rating: Ideal – Explanation: Creativity and innovation are the main focus of this lesson. Within the unit, students read a variety of Greek mythology, which is literature that may seem antiquated and irrelevant given the culture of today’s world. To make this literature more relevant, the students analyze and discuss trends, themes, and motifs within within Greek mythology and relate these topics to the world around them . To display their understanding of this connection, students synthesize their knowledge of Greek mythology themes and visual and literary devices to create audio and visual images related to a “human condition” of their choice. In their final products, the students make intentional choices and decisions to symbolically connect Greek mythology to today’s world and their own personal lives. A variety of digital tools allow students to create their products and make these connections, including cameras, audio recording software, and Google Draw. In their written explanation, students reflect on their creative choices and explain how their media relates to their chosen theme. This assignment allows the students to take intellectual risks, as it is extremely open-ended, can be interpreted in a variety of ways, and does not have one “correct” answer.

Student Artifact

Student-Work-Image

Image Links to Sample Student Work


Lesson Materials

H21 Lesson Artifacts

Posted in Middle School, English, Comm/Collab - Dev, Critical Thinking - App, Creativity - Target, Grade Level, Language Arts, Lesson, Subject, TIP Chart0 Comments

Good, Clean Chemistry Fun (15MS604)

This lesson is for : Grade 7:

Summary

In this lesson, students collaborate with their peers in order to create and advertise soap that they make in science class. The groups use Google Docs to work towards this collaborative goal; however, each individual within the group has his/her own separate role as well as either the mold designer, website creator, videographer/advertise, or packaging creator. This activity is completed within a chemistry unit, and the lesson reinforces chemistry topics as the students learn about the soap making process. However, this particular assignment focuses on the IB design cycle, in which students research, create design briefs, and evaluate a final product. After each group member has completed a “design” for his/her portion of the final product, students create and package their soap. Each group presents their website, advertisement, mold, and packaging to the rest of the class, and the class decides which group marketed the best product. Students use this class evaluation to reflect on their design choices and also reflect on their roles as communicators and collaborators. The soap made within this assignment is donated to a local homeless shelter and women’s shelter.

TIPC Ratings

Research & Information Fluency

Rating: Ideal – Explanation: In the first question of the individual design journal, students create “research questions” that will help them in their design process. Students use the web resources available to them in order to select, assemble, and organize this information in their individual and group design journals. Students synthesize their research in order to create the final product for their portion of the assignment – either the mold, packaging, video, or web design. The task is authentic because the students create a final product of their choice that will serve a greater purpose to the local community. The soap created during this assignment is donated to a local homeless shelter and women’s shelter.

Communication & Collaboration

Rating: Ideal – Explanation: The digital tools used within this assignment are meant to highlight the skills of communication and collaboration. In the assignment, each student has a specific role and must work independently to finish his/her portion of the assignment. However, each role is equally important in order to sell the final product and the students must communicate and collaborate in order to ensure that they have a unified “message” and/or theme for their soap. Students use their individual design journal to document their personal progress. These documents are shared with the group so that group members can check up on each other both in and outside of the classroom and provide feedback as necessary. Students also use the group design journal to collaboratively set goals in order to complete the final project in a timely manner. At the end of the assignment, the students reflect on not only their design process, but also on their roles as communicators and collaborators.

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

Rating: Not observed – Explanation: Students use their critical thinking and problem solving skills throughout this lesson, but the digital tools used within this lesson are not necessarily chosen to support this particular skill.

Creativity & Innovation

Rating: Approaching – Explanation: Students use their research to analyze trends and make predictions and then develop their final product accordingly. Depending on their role within the group, students use digital tools to create meaningful work. For example, the videographers/advertisers use a variety of movie recording hardware and movie editing software including Moviemaker and Adobe Premiere. The website creators also use a variety of tools to create their websites, including Weebly and Google Sites.

Student Artifact

Swan-Soap-Image-Student-Work

Image Links to Student Webpage, Advertisement, and Documetary


Lesson Materials

H21 Lesson Artifacts

Posted in Middle School, Science, Info Fluency - Target, Comm/Collab - Target, Creativity - App, Grade Level, Physical Science, Subject, TIP Chart0 Comments

Perspectives on the Boston Massacre (15MS606)

This lesson is for : Grade 6:

Summary

Students use an online tool to analyze various accounts and images of the Boston Massacre. Based on their analysis of these images, students develop questions that they still have about the context and details of the event. Students then read several first-hand accounts of the massacre in order to answer these specific questions. Students use their analysis of the images and first-hand accounts in order to reflect on how various forms of media can shape an individual’s understanding of historic events.

After the Bostom Massacre activities, each student selects two different current event articles (from reliable news sources) about the same event. Using specific evidence from these two current events, the images within the articles, and examples from the Boston Massacre lesson, the students write a blog post that includes:

  • Links to both current event articles
  • A brief summary of both articles
  • A response to the following question: “How do visual images affect the way we view and/or understand historical events and/or current events?”
  • A reflection on how this activity will change the way that the students view and interpret the news

TIPC Ratings

Research & Information Fluency

Rating: Ideal – Explanation: Research and information are a focus of this lesson. The students use a variety of search engines to select two current event articles that are relevant to their interests and appropriate for answering the essential question of the lesson. The students analyze these documents, plus the media from the Boston Massacre portion of the lesson, and synthesize this information in order to develop an argument about how visual images affect an individual’s understanding of events. This research is displayed on the classroom blog, where other students can access the information.

Communication & Collaboration

Rating: Approaching – Explanation: Students work in pairs throughout the assignment to bounce ideas back and forth and allow the teacher to listen to the student’s verbal conversations. At the end of the lesson, the students use the classroom blog to communicate with one another. Students use the comments feature of the blog to provide feedback to each other about their work. The blog acts as a collaboration tool as well in that the students help to influence each other’s reflections and takeaways from the lesson.

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

Rating: Ideal – Explanation: Critical thinking and problem solving are the main focus of this particular lesson. The problem that the students address within the lesson is how visual images influence an individual’s understanding of a current and/or historic event. To prepare the students to think critically about this problem, the lesson begins with a “smaller” problem: What actually happened on the day of the Boston Massacre?

Students use the image comparison tool on the “Perspectives on the Boston Massacre” site in order to justify their answers to high level questions regarding the events. In order to answer these questions, students use specific evidence from the various images, and the comparison tool makes this task much more efficient and practical than it would be if the students only had access to paper documents. The image comparison tool gives the students control of various tools that allow them to manipulate the images in the way that they see fit. Students can zoom in/out and hover over various areas to compare the different documents and see small, but important differences within the images that would be difficult to identify without computer aided tools. Based on their comparisons of the images, students develop questions about the Boston Massacre that are left “unanswered” by the different accounts they have seen thus far.

After completing the Boston Massacre portion of the lesson, students use their information fluency skills to select relevant and appropriate current articles that allow them to develop an answer the lesson’s essential question. Students use their individual research, and the information provided by their peers on the class blog, to reflect on their roles as media consumers.

Creativity & Innovation

Rating: Approaching – Explanation: The final “product” of this assignment is a blog post, which the students create and share via a WordPress blog. The students choose which media to include in their post and analyze their media in order to discuss how visual media influences an individual’s understanding of an event..

Classroom Action

Lesson Materials

H21 Lesson Artifacts

Posted in Middle School, Social Studies, Info Fluency - Target, Comm/Collab - App, Critical Thinking - Target, Creativity - App, Grade Level, Lesson, Subject, TIP Chart, US History0 Comments

Memorializing the Past

Dan Dickey and Beth Berry, Deep Run High School
This lesson is for : Grade 11:

Summary

Students in AP Language read, annotate, and discuss six documents related to the history of Richmond, Virginia’s Monument Avenue. The students synthesize these documents and develop a thesis with accompanying support that answers the question, “How does a community effectively memorialize its “collective past” and/or history?” These essays are shared via GoogleDocs with groups of two to three AP US History students. The history students read the English student’s essays and use the recommendations within the essays, their knowledge of the Civil War (based on the classroom activities within the Civil War unit), and additional research in order to plan and design a monument that celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. These monuments and the student justifications for their content, design, and location are recorded in a Google Map and shared back with the English students. The English students play the role of Richmond’s City Council and decide which monument to fund and develop. At the end of the unit, all involved students participate in a Q&A session with sculptor Paul DiPasquale, who designed and created the Arthur Ashe statue on Monument Avenue. The students use Google Moderator to develop relevant questions for Mr. DiPasquale based on their experiences within this unit.

TIPC Ratings

Research & Information Fluency

Rating: Ideal – Explanation: Research and information fluency are a focus for both the English and History students involved in this lesson. AP Language students develop a thesis and support this thesis based on the six documents provided in the Document Based Question (DBQ). The essay that these students create is a synthesis essay, in which they evaluate the documents based on author, purpose, and context and then assemble and organize information from the documents to support their own unique answer to the essay question. These essays are shared via GoogleDocs with the AP US History students, who in turn must practice their information fluency skills.

At the beginning of the lesson, The AP US History Students complete research on a Civil War monument of their choice and upload this information to a Google Map. This basic research prepares the students for the research that they will complete later in the assignment. Based on the criteria of the English essay they receive, The AP US History students design a monument to memorialize the Civil War. The History students develop research topics and questions in order to select the ideal historic topic and/or individual that fulfills the requirements detailed within the English consultant’s essay. History students use a variety of search engines to locate relevant and authoritative information that explains and justifies their choice of monument topic, location, and design. This information, along with a picture of the monument is displayed via Google Maps Engine Lite, so that the English students (and Mr. Paul Dipasquale) can interact with this information, visualize the locations of these monuments, and evaluate which monument should be funded.

There are a variety of authentic aspects within this particular assignment. The documents within the initial DBQ were selected to make the task more relevant for students. Not only is Monument Avenue related to the Civil War, but it is also a local landmark for which many students have prior knowledge and experience. Additionally, the task to create a monument is relevant because this year marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Although Richmond is not necessarily building a new monument, a number of events have been in the news regarding this historic anniversary.

Communication & Collaboration

Rating: Ideal – Explanation: Ideal
Students in this activity form teams and organize roles in order to design and create a Monument to memorialize the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. There are two distinct roles/teams within this particular assignment – The English students act as consultants and the history students act as the monument designers. This separation of roles allows the students to see how tasks of this nature require input from a variety of groups and are often difficult and time-consuming to complete due to varying perspectives. This separation of roles also allows for the assignment to be truly collaborative, as the final product cannot be completed without the work of either group. At the end of the assignment, after the monuments have been evaluated and the “winner” has been announced to the English and history classes, students complete reflection questions that allow them to discuss the collaborative aspects from the lesson and their connection to “real-world” collaboration.

Google Docs, Google Maps Engine, and Google Moderator are all used as tools to enhance the communication and collaboration process within this assignment. Google Docs allows the English consultants to review each other’s essays and then easily share their essay with the history students. Google Maps Engine allows the history students to share their research with the English consultants and experts (Mr. DiPasquale). Finally, Google Moderator allows the students to collaboratively create and vote on discussion questions for the Question and Answer session with Mr. Paul DiPasquale and then share these questions with Mr. DiPasquale before his visit.

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

Rating: Ideal – Explanation: The authentic task that serves as a problem for this lesson is for students to design a monument in Richmond, Virginia that memorializes the Civil War. English students justify their decision about how to effectively memorialize a community’s past based on six documents provided in a DBQ. History students justify the topic, location, and design of their final monument based on the research that they complete, along with the recommendations of the English student’s essays. The final monuments and justifications are put into a Google Map, which allows the English students to visualize the location of these monuments and whether or not these monuments would be accepted by the community of Richmond, Virginia. The English students use a Google Form to evaluate each of the monuments, and the accompanying spreadsheet tabulates this information to determine an overall “winning” monument that will be funded by Richmond’s City Council.

Creativity & Innovation

Rating: Ideal – Explanation: In the first part of the lesson, English students analyze the documents within the DBQ and create their own solution to the authentic task of designing a monument that memorializes the Civil War. The history students synthesize the consultant essays and their historical research in order to design and create a monument that reflects the consultant’s criteria. Although the students

must follow the consultant’s criteria, they must also take risks by choosing a topic, location, and artistic design that is not specifically laid out for them. History students use a variety of digital tools to complete the monument design, including Blender, Google Sketchup, Photoshop, and other digital image editing software.

Student Artifact

Header-Image-for-Memorializing-History

Image Links to Sample Student Essay


Lesson Materials

H21 Lesson Artifacts

Posted in High School, Social Studies, Info Fluency - Target, Comm/Collab - Target, Critical Thinking - Target, Creativity - Target, Grade Level, Subject, TIP Chart, US History0 Comments

The Lessons of Reconstruction (15MS603)

This lesson is for Grade/Subject: 7th Grade US History (USII)

Summary

In this lesson, students practice research skills and evaluate sources based on reliability, authority, and relevance. Students use these skills to complete research on a specific individual and his/her role during American Reconstruction. Based on the student’s research, each student writes a blog post in which he/she explains how his/her individual would respond to the current crisis in Iraq. Students use specific evidence from their research to explain and justify their thoughts.

TIPC Ratings

Research & Information Fluency

Rating: Ideal – Explanation: This lesson is completed at the start of the school year and meant to be a stepping stone lesson for the students to develop and practice their research skills. In the “Reliable or Not” worksheet, students discuss how to judge a source based on its reliability, authority, and relevance to the topic at hand. Students  practice these evaluation skills when completing their own research and selecting the source(s) that are most relevant to their assignment. Students synthesize the research on their individual, their understanding of American Reconstruction, and their understanding of the Iraq crisis in order to explain how their chosen individual would respond to the crisis in Iraq. The final written product is displayed on a classroom blog, where classmates can view each other’s essays and sources and provide feedback accordingly. The task at hand is authentic, as students apply their knowledge of historical events to help “solve” a current world crisis.

Communication & Collaboration

Rating: Developing – Explanation: The majority of the student work in this assignment is individual, but the final essays are posted on a classroom blog. This allows the students to view each others’ essays and resources and communicate with each other to provide feedback.

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

Rating: Approaching – Explanation: Students apply their research to help “solve” the crisis in Iraq. Students justify their possible solutions based not only on current events, but on specific evidence from the historical research that they conduct, including quotes from primary and secondary documents.

Creativity & Innovation

Rating: Not Observed – Explanation:

Student Artifact

Abraham_Lincoln_O-116_by_Gardner_1865-crop

Click Image for Sample Student Blog Posts

 

Lesson Materials

H21 Lesson Artifacts

Posted in Middle School, Social Studies, Info Fluency - Target, Comm/Collab - Dev, Critical Thinking - App, US History0 Comments

The Immigrant Experience (15MS601)

This lesson is for Grade/Subject: US History II (7th Grade)

Summary

Students stumble upon a suitcase which contains six primary sources related to immigrant life in America around the turn of the 20th century. The students use the primary sources to generate questions about the immigrant and their life story in America. Students work collaboratively in pairs to research the answers to their own questions and use this information to write a historical fiction story. The final stories are displayed using Google Tour Builder and MyHistro.

TIPC Ratings

Research & Information Fluency

Rating: Ideal – Explanation: At the beginning of the assignment, students are not taught any specific information from the immigrant unit. The teacher provides the students with primary documents and the students construct research questions that allow them to individually explore the time period/unit based on their own thought process, pace, and interest. Students have previously been taught research techniques and evaluating sources, and select the information to use in their story accordingly. In order show their understanding of reliability, relevance, and authority, students provide citations for their research in their collaborative storyboarding document. Students assemble, organize, and synthesize their research in order to develop a historical fiction story. The students use Google Tour Builder and Myhistro in order to create their final product and display their final product on the class blog. Displaying the final products in this manner allows the students to interact with each other’s work, learn history content from each other’s stories, and help the students complete an individual reflection in which they compare their research and work to the work of their classmates. This task is authentic because the students must practice a variety of historical skills within the assignment. The students must observe, create questions, and investigate answers to their own questions. These skills are not limited to history class, as these skills will be useful for the students in a variety contexts throughout their life.

Communication & Collaboration

Rating: Ideal – Explanation: The students use GoogleDocs throughout the entire assignment as a tool for communication and collaboration. Student pairs share the workload of the assignment by dividing primary documents amongst themselves to research. After researching the documents individually, the students combine their information and collaborate with each other to create one collective historical fiction story. The classroom blog serves as another form of communication and collaboration within this assignment. Students can view the work of the other groups, which allows them to reflect on their own work and the working relationship they had with their partner throughout the assignment.

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

Rating: Approaching – Explanation: At the beginning of the assignment, students generate purposeful questions about the primary documents that will allow the students to explore and research 18th and 19th century immigration at their own pace. For this research, students not only use search terms in a search engine, but they also use the Google Image search feature. Students respond to their own research questions and justify the stops and events of their historical fiction story based on the information that they find during their research.

Creativity & Innovation

Rating: Approaching – Explanation: Students use Google Tour Builder, MyHistro, and GoogleDocs to create a historical fiction piece on the immigrant experience. Although this assignment allows the students to create new ideas and products, the parameters of the assignment are somewhat limiting in terms of creativity, as many of the student products will take the same form and design, which limits options for students to innovate and take risks.

Student Artifact


Lesson Materials

H21 Lesson Artifacts

Posted in Middle School, Social Studies, Info Fluency - Target, Comm/Collab - Target, Critical Thinking - App, Creativity - App, US History0 Comments

Aerial Art (15MS600)

This lesson is for Grade/Subject: 7th Grade Art

Summary

Students create a piece of aerial art based on a specific location they have visited or wish to visit. Students brainstorm the emotions, attitudes, feelings, personal stories, connections, prior knowledge, and perspectives that they have “attached” to their chosen location. Then, students use Google Earth to view the geographic location of their choice. The students use the zoom and aerial perspective features of Google Earth in order to select a specific aerial view of their selected location. Students create a piece of artwork that reflects their chosen location and also displays their “perspective” of that location. The students experiment with art techniques to discover which techniques are appropriate for their purpose. These art techniques include, but are not limited to, layering, simplification, adaptation of color theme, mixing media, texture, and perspective.

Students take digital pictures of their final products and import these files into Google Earth using the “Image Overlay” feature. The students can access each other’s image overlays through a Schoolspace dropbox and view each other’s final piece of artwork along with the aerial view that inspired the final product. With the click of a button, students can easily turn on/off images of their peers’ work and visually compare their artwork to the students’ chosen locations. In class and small group discussions students use this tool to locate specific evidence that they use in order critique their classmates work and reflect own final product.

TIPC Ratings

Research & Information Fluency

Rating: Approaching – Explanation: Students use the search and placemark features of Google Earth to select and organize ten locations that they might wish to use for for their aerial artwork piece. Students assemble various “views” and perspectives of their chosen location in Google Earth to help determine the perspective for their final piece of artwork.

Communication & Collaboration

Rating: Not Observed – Explanation: Students work in groups throughout the entirety of the assignment in order to brainstorm and provide each other with feedback. Ultimately, the assignment culminates with a group critique, in which students must communicate effectively in order to help their classmates and reflect on their own work. These are important aspects of the assignment, but the digital tools included in this assignment are not meant to accentuate communication and collaboration.

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

Rating: Ideal – Explanation: Throughout this unit, the students use Google Earth in order to discuss the “problem” of this assignment: How an individual’s perception and/or perspective can be influenced by various artistic techniques. At the beginning of the assignment, the students use Google Earth to select locations for their final pieces of artwork and generate questions and ideas about they can change the viewer’s perspective of that location. The students justify their final artistic choices by comparing and contrasting the “true” view of their location and their final product.

In the critique/discussion portion of the assignment, students use Google Earth placemarks and image overlays in order to compare and contrast student paintings with the “true” view of the location. The students use their observations to justify why they believe their classmates chose to incorporate different art techniques and strategies into their paintings and how those techniques influence the viewer’s perspective of the product. The final portion of the critique requires the students to use the work of their classmates in order to reflect on their personal choices and decisions.

Creativity & Innovation

Rating: Ideal – Explanation: The ultimate product for this assignment is not a digital product, but a physical painting. However, digital tools are integral in helping the students create their final product. Google Earth allows the students to view an initial picture of their landscape and analyze the area. Students synthesize the “true” aerial view of their location, their personal connection to the location, and their knowledge of various artisitic techniques in order to create a piece of artwork that reflects new and different ideas about their chosen location. Students use Google Earth to analyze each other’s work and make predictions about the artistic choices that the students made within their final product. Students experiment and take risks with various forms of media to complete their assignment. One whole day of this assignment is devoted to playing around with different forms of media (some students chose to use soap, charcoal, and newspaper) and developing ideas about how that media can be used in the final product.

Lesson Materials

H21 Lesson Artifacts

Posted in Middle School, Electives, Info Fluency - App, Critical Thinking - Target, Creativity - Target, Art0 Comments

Let Me Take a #Selfie – World War II Version (15MS602)

Summary

In this lesson, students create “selfies” to represent various historical figures from the World War II era. Students are assigned a historical figure from the World War II and research that individual and his role during the conflict. Each student chooses a World War II event related to their historical figure and uses ActivInspire, Photoshop, or another image editing tool to create a selfie that depicts the historical figure’s reaction to and/or interpretation of that event. These selfies are shared via a class blog. Students use the images created by their classmates in order to help explain how Instagram and other social media outlets will impact the way that society learns, understands, and interprets history in the future.

This lesson should be completed BEFORE any direct instruction on the leaders and/or battles of World War II.

This lesson was based on this idea, and uses some of the same resources and materials. 

Reflection

Teacher:

“I loved the research portion of the assignment. I think that assigning the students a leader was important. The students still had a choice of what to research in terms of the event that they chose, but because they did not choose the leader, it made them dig deeper,  as many of the students did not know anything about the individual that they were assigned.  The students learned a variety of information that went way beyond the SOLs and developed a decent overall understanding of the entire war, just from this one assignment. I also learned about events that I had never heard of. The students were teaching me about the topics that they were investigating.”

ITRT:

The students seemed to enjoy this lesson and practiced a number of valuable research skills while creating their selfies. The questions on the graphic organizer required the students to thoroughly synthesize multiple sources in order to determine the perspective of their assigned historical figure. However, there is one major change I would make to the research portion of this lesson in the future. I would like to require that students locate a primary source from their individual’s perspective that discusses the event of their choice. For example, the students could find a diary entry, audio clip, speech, etc. related to their figure and event, along with a variety of secondary sources. Some students did this initially, but not all of them did. In my opinion, this requirement would help to ensure that the students consider “historical perspective” when creating their final product, which is a primary goal of this lesson.

In terms of displaying the final product on the class blog, we initially did not have the students write about their creative choices (they only did this on the research organizer). I think it would have helped the other students to see a brief description of their classmates’ creative choices so that they could better understand the background information of various the various events and historical figures. Additionally, the students could have included links to their sources directly in their blog posts, so that that other students could investigate a selfie that piqued their interest, but that they did not immediately understand. This addition would increase the “Research and Information fluency” component within the lesson, as this would allow the students to “powerfully display AND interact with information.””

TIPC Ratings

Ideal

In the graphic organizer portion of the assignment, the students create research questions to develop an understanding of their assigned individual and his role during World War II. Although the historical figure is assigned to the students, the students have some choice within the assignment, as they are allowed to select and explore an event of their choice. The students assemble and organize their research using the Instagram selfie template. The template fields require a synthesis of the students’ research. For example, the students must determine how their figure would react to the event in order to complete the “comment” and “hashtag” fields and the students must determine how others around the world would perceive this event in order to fill out the “likes” field. Students also synthesize their research and their understanding of their classmates’ selfies in order to answer and discuss the lesson’s essential question. This is the portion of the assignment that makes the task authentic. Although selfies and social media did not exist during World War II, they will influence how historians understand and interpret various historical events in the future.

Approaching

The use of a blog as the medium for sharing the selfies allows the students to communicate and collaborate with their classmates. Students provide each other with feedback on their creative choices and develop an understanding of the essential question by referencing examples from not only their own selfies, but from their classmates’ selfies as well.

Approaching

The students apply a variety of image editing techniques in order to create and display their historical figure’s perception and/or interpretation of an event. The students justify their image editing choices by answering various questions on the research graphic organizer.  At the end of the assignment, the students use the digital images created by the class in order to help respond to the purposeful question about how social media will impact the way that society views, learns, and understands history.

Ideal

The students create meaningful work based on their research that allows them to analyze historical figures and events and make predictions about historical perspective. The students take risks in creating their selfies, as they attempt to role play an individual’s reaction to an event, rather than merely stating their own opinion. This task helps the students gain an understanding of historical perspective, and allows the students to develop new ideas about how and why social media will be used as a tool for understanding history.

Student Artifact

Image Links to Original Selfie and Student Post

Image Links to Original Selfie and Student Post

Lesson Materials

H21 Lesson Artifacts

Posted in Middle School, Social Studies, Info Fluency - Target, Comm/Collab - App, Critical Thinking - App, Creativity - Target, Grade Level, Lesson, TIP Chart, US History0 Comments

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