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Subject - Teaching World History in the 21st Century - chapter 18 From - Jeremy Greene <email@example.com> Date - Saturday, September 25, 2010 10:11 pm For this past week’s chapter I asked people to respond to the prompt: What is a simple technique you can share to make learning the world history course easier for students and teaching it more manageable. What follows are the replies: James C. Harris firstname.lastname@example.org St. Margaret's Episcopal School Just a quick response: To help students learn/master the five course themes I put together a quick & fun little mix and matching activity. All I do is laminate the sheets attached [email James for sheets] ,cut them into strips (theme headings) and cards (identifiers) and then distribute them to student groups. Teams of students have a certain amount of time to place the identifiers with their correct theme and they get a correct point for every correct match and a half-point for building a clear and concise argument why one theme should actually belong in another category. I prefer doing this before the students have seen the themes and then again after a bit of instruction. Cheers, James C. Harris email@example.com History/Social Studies Department Chair St. Margaret's Episcopal School 31641 La Novia SJC, Ca. 92675 Patricia Scott, NBCT 2003 Bowling Green High School firstname.lastname@example.org Two techniques that I have found successful: 1. the Anti-Test. Take one to five multiple-choice questions and type them onto a powerpoint with one answer choice per slide. Copy for students with three slides per page. This gives a lined section next to each slide and students have to write an explanation of WHY or HOW they KNOW that that answer choice is wrong. Their explanation has to be based on historical fact and not circular reasoning. I also use this as a review strategy, but then we do it orally with one student at a time explaining why the answer is wrong. 2. The Accordion timeline. Students prepare a timeline from a list of dates for each unit that I provide. They research on Google images for an image to match each date .... the image must be something to help them remember the event / person / etc. associated with the date. Then with the cards organized with the 3" side as a top, they put the date, the event, and the image on one 3x5 card; the next date, event, image on another 3x5 card; and so on. Then they put the 3x5 cards in order by date, lay them side by side (5" sides) without overlapping and tape together horizontally. If a date is duplicated, then the cards with the same dates are taped vertically (3" sides). Once the cards are taped together, they can be folded up like an accordion to make a nice compact timeline. Once the timeline for a unit is completed, I will start or end several classes with a human timeline by giving each student a card with the person / event / whatever written on it without the date. Students then have to line themselves up in chronological order....makes for a fun learning experience. Patricia Scott, NBCT 2003 AP World History, AP European History, Pre-AP Freshman English Bowling Green High School 1801 Rockingham Lane Bowling Green, KY 42104 270-746-2300 270-746-2305 (fax) email@example.com Angela Lee Weston High School firstname.lastname@example.org Hi Jeremy, In answer to your question: To make learning world history more manageable, I start off the year with historiography, periodization and themes. Those are the aspects onto which I hook every unit and topic, so that by the end of the year, the students are discussing topics on a higher level. Also, I start every unit with "models" such as Crane Brinton's revolution model, and then send the students to research different revolutions to compare to the model. They end up teaching themselves and each other in presentations and jigsaw groups. Angela *********** History Department Weston High School email@example.com Eve Fisher Professor Emerita South Dakota State University firstname.lastname@example.org Dear Jeremy, Nuts and bolts: (1) A calendar of readings, lectures, discussion questions, and assignments for the students; another, expanded and annotated calendar of the same for you. And on yours, leave some room to write what works and what doesn't and (if you can figure it out) why. NOTE: Sometimes something flops for no discernible reason; and sometimes something clicks that you thought they'd HATE. (2) Videos (DVDs, films, whatever) are overrated. A full-length movie had better be virtual time travel to be worth the time showing it. Bits and pieces are okay. I used a lot of stuff off of YouTube - there are excerpts from everything there. VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: Students are appallingly jaded when it comes to visuals, and, to be honest, they're so used to watching stuff, that they don't actually pay attention any more. If you show something, you're going to have to explain it much more than you think. What does haunt them is in the books. I always showed a Japan class some propaganda films with heavy atrocities - didn't faze them a bit - and then had them read "Hiroshima" - and they had nightmares from it. (3) Assignments are necessary, but there are ways to mix it up. I like the National Anthems assignment[in initial post - check the book]. I had a variety of "rewriting history" assignments: For example, with WW2, Write a paper outlining what did happen, and then determining what would have been the result if one of the following had happened: (a) Japan had not attacked Pearl Harbor; (b) Germany had never declared war on the United States; (c) Mexico had signed a treaty with Germany and declared war on the US; or (d) Hitler had not invaded Russia, but invaded England instead, etc. I have a lot of these, so if anyone wants some, they can e-mail me. (4) Make sure you actually ask what you want to know re themes on exams. This can get away from you, because there's that tendency to think I really should ask about ... (some factoid or other). I used to have a "connections" section where it would be, explain in 50 words what's the connection between, say, the Mexican Revolution and Karl Marx. These also made for a good pop quiz, if you're up to the grading. (5) Every once in a while, just do something fun. Eve Fisher Dave Clarke Nathan Hale H.S. West Allis, WI ClarD@wawm.k12.wi.us Jeremy, My best move has been to start teaching each of the three types of essay [Document-Based Question, Comparative, and Change and Continuity Over Time] (as well as basic thesis construction) by giving students copies of already-written samples and having them evaluate each. I used to have the kids go right into writing their own essays etc. but since it's so much a hit/miss learning experience with the kids who are first timers in AP (i.e. all of mine!) that this way I can even construct multiple choice or short answer questions asking what's wrong with different elements (e.g. topic sentences, analysis, argument in the thesis etc.) First year teachers who don't have any old student essays to use can use the ones for each of the exam essays at AP Central - there's usually a 9, a "good" one and a weak one. I would however type those up before I gave them to students. ------------------------------------ If anyone would still like to submit a technique to share please email me off the list and I will post a second compilation. And for this week, please share how you bring joy/fun to your classroom. Or maybe better stated, how do you share your passions with your students? Thanks to all the posters above for sharing their techniques. Best, Jeremy Greene World History Teacher International Relations and Key Club Advisor Chelmsford High School Chelmsford, MA 01863