Change is good. I truly believe that allowing for the possiblity of change to even some of my best activities have opened up the possiblity for those to become even better. Sharing and collaborating with my PLN on Twitter has provided major ideas that require minor adjustments and create awesome learning opportunities for kids.
This minor adjustment came from @Iola_L4Ri and his take on the lesson idea called History in a Bag. (Click here for the version from @Iola_L4Ri and click here for the original idea from Glenn Wiebe's History Tech blog) The idea was just too good to pass up!
About a week ago I sent out an email to the teachers in the middle school asking for their help. I was hoping to get 5-6 people to agree. I had TEN! Just goes to show how AWESOME the staff here is at supporting each other and the things we do in the classroom!
The purpose of this activity is to have my students put into practice those historical thinking skills they've been learning about. This allows for students to identify, analyze, corroborate and contextualize artifacts, make a conclusion and support it with evidence. It is an awesome thinking activity that engaged every single one of the students today.
I paired up my students, gave them a record-keeping chart and sent them off to their first station.
The conversation throughout the day was fantastic!
"Mrs. Weber, this is hard, but I like the challenge."
"I think I know this one, but I'm not sure the other artifacts support my idea."
"Ohhh...this bag has to belong to a female. Look at the name on the dog-tag, we don't have any teachers here by that name, so that means she must be married and have a different last name." - - WOW!
"This one is belongs to a girl, I know it because the t-shirt size is medium and that's too small for any of our guy-teachers."
"This one could be the band teacher, but the pretty cross is from the Methodist church which is my church, the band teacher doesn't go to my church, so it must be someone else who plays the drums."
This was such a great day in class and I'm so proud of the way my 7th graders worked! They were all mad when I told them they had to wait until next week to find out the answers! I gotta have them wanting to come back!
Plus...this is just the "warm-up." The REAL History in a Bag is next Tuesday, and THAT is something to see!