Competition as a way to Apply Knowledge

In our U.S. Constitution unit the students are tasked with sketch noting each article as a way of diving deep into the meaning of each section and clause. The ideas have to bounce around their heads as they figure out how to make words written in 1787 into visuals. The sketch noting forces students to... Continue Reading →

Student Voice Drives Curriculum

Reading the U.S. Constitution is not a priority of my 8th grade students. At this point in the year their genuine interest has built about the Constitution, but the actual want to read a document written in 1787 is not on this "Must Do" list. This year we have the extra challenge of students transitioning... Continue Reading →

Revolutions as Infographics

A huge part of the teenage experience in 2020 is living and learning through images. Students are bombarded by images through their social media. They absorb the majority of their information through images, so it is necessary that they begin to learn the skills that drive media. The skill of synthesizing information from facts to... Continue Reading →

Declaration of Independence the Musical

When Middle School students are told they are going to engage with a primary source the feeling of the room shifts. The smiling faces disappear. The air becomes stagnant. All joy in the world has been stifled. Not even the worlds most famous break up letter brightens their faces. The Declaration of Independence is not... Continue Reading →

Boston Massacre Trial

SET THE STAGE One of the major skills I teach is argumentative writing. One would think that taking naturally argumentative pre-teens and harnessing that energy with be easy, unfortunately it is not. Students that can argue over grades, the pros and cons of wearing leggings at school and which football team will reach the Super... Continue Reading →

Analyzing Revolutions

The new unit on revolutions is content heavy. We are exploring the American road to revolution and the Revolutionary War. In the past students have created timelines that are a reference that will be used in the next unit when learning the U.S. Constitution. This year changed the project to involve a larger world view. ... Continue Reading →

Reflection and Rebuilding

Flying high off the success of our last project,  8th grade U.S. Government students are excited to start their new adventure.  They have been working with the same groups for the entire quarter and are ready to move forward with a dynamic new group. They enjoyed self-selecting their groups based on diverse qualities and skills... Continue Reading →

Visual Thinking in Government

The learning goal is for students to explore the power distribution and relationship between people and their governments. The hook is a lightning project. To hook students into this lesson time was used to up the level of anticipation. This project could be larger and could take more time, but the same learning goals can... Continue Reading →

Economics through Experience

Learning complex systems through simulations. Exploration of social contract theory raises the questions of why we have governments.  Analyzing different types of governments is the next step towards understanding the world around us.  Before launching into American history and government it is critical to define economic systems and types of governments that exist around the... Continue Reading →

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