This video shows the introduction and progress of a wall mapping activity in my American Cultures Class at Baldwin High School. The room that I taught in was shared with a Spanish Teacher and contained no maps whatsoever. I constantly found myself wanting to point at maps while teaching so that I could include a Geographical component but I could not because of the lack of maps. So my students suggested that we make maps. I followed through with their request by designing this mapping project. Here are the necessary resource documents if anyone would like to have such a map for WWII.
And along with this map making assignment the students researched certain topics pertaining to WWII; all of which had a geographical component to them which was locatable on the maps. Here is a list of the research topics as well as a preliminary research document. We went to the computer lab to do this research.
In the Preliminary Research worksheet I asked the students to find the who, what, where, when and then 5 whys. I stressed this point of 5 whys deep. I gave them an example by asking…
“Why does the floor of our classroom look like a basketball court?” I asked.
“Because this used to be the gym.” They said.
“Why is this no longer the gym?” I asked.
“Because they needed more room.” They said.
“Why did they need more room?” I asked.
“Because the school is undergoing construction and the old part has been torn down.” They asnswered.
“Why is the school undergoing construction?” I asked.
“Because it was really old and now we’re getting bigger.” They said.
“Why is Baldwin getting bigger?” I asked.
“Hmmm…” They said.
So I wrapped up by tying the first to the last by saying, “We have a basketball court for a floor in here because Baldwin is getting bigger.” Many of the students really liked this questioning sequence others became a bit confused.
One of my fellow Student-Teachers owns a WWII news real footage DVD collection. After borrowing and checking out these DVD’s I found that there are a few clips that pertain exactly to what we had just learned in chapter 17. So I showed video clips demonstrating.
- Hitler’s Rise to Power
- The Kellogg-Briand Pact
- The Munich Conference
- Hitler’s invasion of Poland
- France’s defeat
- The Japanese annexation of Manchuria
- Pearl Harbor
I had the students take notes on these topics because many of these will be included on the test tomorrow. This was a great moment of clarification for some students.
We continued our work on the Budgeting project by looking up apartments in the apartment guide circulars found in grocery store lobbies. The students were to pick three different apartment so that they can pick and choose the cheapest one later when they must add everything up. They were also required to call up the realtor and ask how much utilities normally cost. Some outgoing students loved this. Others could not handle making a cold phone call.
Today, I created a PowerPoint to show the students a series of pictures demonstrating the differences in battle tactics from WWI to WWII.
WWI included a lot of trench warfare with small clumsy tanks that did not hold many people or pack much of a punch. WWII tanks were large and mass produced. They were organized in entire divisions. This presentation also demonstrates the German Blitzkrieg, the London Bombings and the German Military regimes rallies.
Today, we continued on the Budgeting project as we began to look up more info on the grocery list. Many students had not completed and printed out their shopping carts from the day before so we continued it today. Very many of my students are way off in one direction or the other. Either buying a multitude of food that they could not possibly eat in its entirety or skimping to the extent that they will be starving. They’ll learn.
In the packet, I broke section 3 down into two parts of homework to save the students some trouble. This section went well. I showed a short web video through S-video on the TV. The video was on Pearl Harbor. The students seem to like breaking up the class lecture with these short videos. I think this packet method is working out pretty well. Even though some of the students don’t like having homework, this method works well in three important ways…
- Clearly shows and goes over the objectives, which end up being the short answer test.
- Engenders engaged participation by asking those hard questions that students do not ask when taking notes. Application questions rather than just recall note-taking.
- Gives the students a tangible guide through each and every chapter, including a calendar so that students know when assignments are due and cannot play that “I wasn’t here when this was assigned” card.
I will use the packet method when I am out on my own.
Today, we went to the computer lab again and looked up produce on Peapod.com. The students made a weekly grocery list out of estimates for how much they will eat when they are out on their own. They also made monthly household items lists. The prices on Peapod are a bit higher than in Pittsburgh, but it didn’t hurt to shock the kids with high prices to show them that it’s a tough world out there.
Today, we continued to watch Patton. The students continued their notes on Patton in preparation to write an essay on his…
- Leadership Style
- Personal Views
- Battle Strategy
I’m beginning to like this idea of showing a movie one day per week rather than for four or five days strait. The students seem to remember what is going on and it doesn’t cause a huge planning blackout.
Today, we went to the computer lab and looked up cars for the budgeting project. We had already done this in the cars unit, but were picking out three more affordable cars on this go-around. After finding a car using one of these websites…
The students used the Auto loan calculator on Cars.com to figure out a monthly payment. I think our lowest monthly payment was on an old used Hugo where the monthly payment was $33/month with no down payment.
Today, I played a clip from the radio drama War of the Worlds and had the students take it at face value. Then, I let them realize that many people thought this was a real alien invasion. This showcased the paranoia that existed at the time. We then covered section 4 of chapter 17, (included in the packet) which had been assigned for homework.
Going over this, the students asked why we do not have a world map in our classroom. We share the room with the Spanish department and as of now it is entirely draped in the flags of Latin American countries. One of the students asked if we could draw a big map and a light bulb went off in my head. More on that later.
I created a PowerPoint presentation that started with a Price is Right style game. This showcased how little the students knew about the price of common household/food items. After this we transitioned to going over the steps for creating a budget. I showed a video of MC Hammer going from riches to rags in a Nationwide car commerical. This demonstrated the point that people should live within their income. The presentation…
I then included a scenario of a young guy named “Josh Darnumpour” (loosely based off of myself) from a webquest assignment I did last fall in Technology of Instruction at Pitt. Josh Darnumpour wants a sailboat but can’t quite make things work out. Check the PowerPoint for details.
Today, we researched five different modern-day dictators. I handed out articles from Upfront Magazine to the students and had them take down 5 enlightening facts about their specific dictatorial regime. Each row had a different one including…
- Iran (2 articles)
- North Korea (2 articles)
The students often knew things about Iran and North Korea but Myanmar was a new topic to them. I decided to use Myanmar after its military junta put down a recent monk uprising.
Today, we began the budgeting project with an introduction. Mr. Deemer went over all of the required specifications for the project. Then, we answered student questions about the project and began to talk about financial responsibility.
We continued the Jigsaw activity to cover the rise of fascist dictators worldwide. Today, we moved from expert groups to jigsaw groups. I was sad to see that on my second ever attempt at Jigsawing that students simply passed their answers around to copy off of one another rather than actually interacting and teaching one another. I need to think of some sort of way to get around the jigsaw copying problem.
We finished the last few minutes of Tucker and then I showed them some modern-day examples of Profit vs. People including…
- The Electric Car
- Net Neutrality
- Third Party Political Candidates
I did this via a presentation…
The kids seemed very interested and all went really well. I love teaching these current event days.
As you can see from the “I am” Packet for chapter 17, Section 3 is very very long. I skipped section 2 on Mr. Geisler’s instruction. Section 3 is about the rise of militarism worldwide. So I decided to use the jigsaw method and take the 50 questions in section three and divide them up into five expert groups…
- Soviet Union
Each student was given a slip of paper with their assigned country and an assigned number. The number indicated what secondary group that the students would jigsaw into. On this first day we worked on becoming experts. Students were told to find the answers to their specific section within that heading section of the chapter. This worked pretty well at keeping the kids on task but I’m not too certain if it worked at promoting understanding about the rise of militarism. We will continue this tomorrow.
We continued to watch Tucker and the students filled out a few Navigating Curriculum workbook questionâ€™s which go along with the movie.