Friday, January 11, 2008

Things that Work

I'm currently finishing up the unit on the Industrial Revolution with my 10th graders. This unit has been going pleasantly well, especially compared to the jumbled mess it was last year. To finish it up, we're taking a look at some of the effects of the I.R. in order to have students write an editorial as if they're a reporter in 1830.

The set up is that they're moving around the room to different stations with information, pictures, music, etc on topics such as "child labor", "modern buildings" and "industrial production." The thing that's making this work well, rather than just be ok, is that I asked them to not only list positive or negative effects for each topic they examined, but also discuss how the negatives could be fixed with their groups. Wandering around the room clarifying ideas in their information, prodding them to consider negatives and positives not directly specified, and asking them about their suggestions for improvement is my favorite kind of teaching. Small conversations in which I can poke and prod at their ideas and see things start to click. Without having to outright say it, I got a lot of "so that's why we have laws about that nowadays" out of them. :)

My favorite overheard remark:
"I know how to fix this one--have kids go to school more." *sees me walking by* "I never thought I'd say that." I smile.


Ed Darrell said...

Where did you get the material for each station? Jackdaw? Some other company? ::gasp!:: You maybe put it together yourself?

I'd like to see a lesson plan that lists the stuff, if you ever get around to it.

Great idea.

I'm starting 10th grade world history mid-year . . . I hope I can make it as much fun.

Penelope said...

I actually used a lot of the material out of a History Alive! lesson, with some additions of my own. Usually I put it all together myself, but for once someone else had done something I liked. :)

Let me ponder my diigo and such and I can at least post some useful links at some point. (Next week, though, in the midst of the exam crunch now.)

Good luck with your world class, although I'm sure you don't need it. From what I've been reading on your blog, it looks like you've got the interesting primary materials thing down better than I do.

Doc Brown said...

Great stuff! I just stumbled onto your blog and absolutely love it. I'm a first year teacher and have already been seeing and feeling alot of the same things you have talked about. I'll be checking in often.

Keep on working and knowing that you are making a difference-you made a difference to me, today.

Penelope said...

Doc - Sorry I missed this before. Thanks for the generous compliment! I've added you to my rss reader.