SED 741 Overheads
Lesson Planning - How do we create and assess standards-based courses and lesson plans that are intellectually challenging and relevant to our students’ lives?
Below, please find the overheads for discussions that will take place over the next three weeks.
Remember, each overhead is separated by a solid line.
Class Topics and Themes
- In War there are no unwounded soldiers.
- "It is only the dead who have seen the end of war." Plato
- Every war has an agenda.
- There are many unexpected and unintended costs of war.
- The end of war is rarely the end of conflict.
- War is costly.
- “When I was young I used to think that money was the most important thing in life. Now that I am old, I know it is.” Oscar Wilde
- No one man should have all (of) that power?
- Economics (money) shapes foreign and domestic policies.
- Who writes history?
- "Domestic Policy can only defeat us, Foreign Policy can kill us" JFK
- Federal versus states' rights issues shape the American political landscape.
- Progress is not always progressive.
- "Freedom means the opportunity to be what we never thought we would be." Daniel Boorstin
- "Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever." MLK, Jr.
- "He who moves not forward, goes backwards." Goethe
- "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." Winston Churchill
- "There are those, I know, who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is the American dream." Archibald MacLeish
- "Imagine all the people living life in peace." John Lennon
- Foreign policy is a balancing act.
- Is Imperialism History or a Current Event?
- Did the Age of Imperialism Create a Monster? How Many Monsters?
- Colonization: do the benefits outweigh the detriments?
- When great nations compete, weak nations suffer
- How does competition between developed nations help and/or hinder the progress of developing nations?
- "I feel my heart break to see a nation ripped apart by its own greatest strength – its diversity."
- What Makes a Native, Really? Or, Where Did Borders Go Wrong?
- Immigration is the backbone of America.
- America was built on the backs of immigrants and the working class.
- Last one is a rotten egg; how have immigrants been the scapegoats of our nation?
- American History is shrouded in myth
- Progress is Not Always Progressive
- "Geography is the canvas in which history is painted" Meriwether Lewis
- "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" - Nelson Mandela
- "We are changing the world with technology." Bill Gates, Jr.
- How should we address the state standards in our lessons?
- What are the basic components of a good lesson?
- How do we assess our lessons?
- How do we create a course syllabus that emphasizes the topics and themes that we wish to address?
Question #1: How should we address the state standards in our lessons?
- What are your reactions to the standards?
- How does your mentor teacher deal with the standards?
- How do you think you can deal with your weaknesses in regard to the state standards?
- What topics are you passionate about, but apparently are not listed in the standards?
Question #2: What are the basic components of a good lesson?
Getting Started on Your Lesson Plan
1. Begin with a broad topic. For example, you have to write a lesson plan on the 1920s.
- Read related chapter(s) in a good university-level textbook.
- Read the related chapter in your students' textbook.
- Consult a reliable Internet source for further information on your topic.
- While reading all of your sources, jot down some issues that interest you and that you may want to teach..
2. Think about how the topic and your issues fit into the Standards. Your topic is the 1920s and you can find an easy fit with Standard 11.5 - “Students analyze the major political, social, economic, technological, and cultural developments of the 1920s.”
- Find a fit between your topic and the Standards. Sometimes you will have to manipulate your topic and the Standards to find a fit. Sometimes, your topic will not fit one of major standards, but rather it will match some of the issues. If you have a subject assignment - like the 1920s, then you already have issues determined for you.
- Determine which sub-topics/issues are of particular interest to you. Which do you already know a great deal about? Which would you like to learn more about? Which do you think would be of interest to your students - as well as relevant to their lives today? For instance, let’s say that of all the topics dealing with the 1920s, you are most interested in the Ku Klux Klan, the Harlem Renaissance, and how the mass production of the automobile changed American life. These should form the core of what you will be teaching for this unit.
3. Research your selected topic and issues.
- Read a book, article, poem, or historical novel about your topic and issues. Take notes for use in your lesson plan.
- See a movie(s) and/or listen to music related to your topics. This should be a pleasurable experience - something you do to relax and enjoy. For instance, for the 1920s, you could watch Ragtime with your friends or family and/or listen to music from the Harlem Renaissance.
- Third, consult other resources - books, primary documents, Internet, etc. - to fill in spots where your information is scanty or incomplete.
4. Determine how your topic and issues fit into one or more of your overall course themes.
- For instance, the course theme that you decide to illustrate should be the one related to economics. Possible themes are: Economic interests shape our society; The economy shapes our political and social lives; What goes up must come down; Money makes the world go ‘round.
- Make sure that you make the connection in your mind - and then in your lesson - between your topics and themes.
5. Determine the "bottom line" goals/messages you want emphasize in your lesson and how these relate to your overall theme(s) or questions(s).
- For instance, for the 1920s you may want students to study the economic realities of the period and understand the major consequences of ignoring such economic realities - the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression and to compare and contrast the economic realities of the 1920s with those today and then determine why the 1920s legacy is such an important factor in contemporary society.
- Then, you will want to remind them that these messages illustrate one of your course themes: Economic interests shape our society; and/or The economy shapes our political and social lives; and/or What goes up must come down; and/or Money makes the world go ‘round.
6. Think about how you want to present your information. Once you have a good understanding of the topics and your themes, you can begin to think about how you will teach the information.
- Write down all the information you want your students to understand, being sure to emphasize your topic and theme/question.
- Determine how you will introduce your lesson and what you will use to “hook” your students’ interest.
- Decide how you will present the information - will you primarily use lecture/discussion? If so, will you supplement them with photos, slides, overheads, documentaries, movies, maps? Will you combine some lecture/discussion with group projects, moot court cases, research, interactive group discussions? Will you use literature, poetry, music, guest speakers?
- Decide how you will weave your theme or question into the content.
7. Decide how you will conclude your lesson in a way that emphasizes your overall theme(s) or question(s).
8. Decide how you will assess your lesson in a way that demonstrates that your students understood the contents and the way they connected to your theme(s) or question(s).
Question #3: How do we assess our lessons?
Document Based Questions (DBQs)
The DBQ is designed to enable students to work like historians, analyzing and synthesizing evidence from a variety of sources. Further, DBQs are designed to test the skills a student historian uses in interpreting historical material. As such, it does not require that a student be familiar with the event or topic that is being presented; a student will be able to respond adequately using only the data provided.
The types of documents that might be used as historical sources include: public records; art, literature, music; maps; news articles, photographs; diaries and letters; charts and graphs, speeches; interviews; and political cartoons. In general, students read 2 to 7 documents (depending on the grade level), analyze the documents, answer a series of questions, and then write an essay using their answers to those questions.
Following are some tasks that students could be asked to do in a DBQ:
- Analyze - break a topic down into separate parts and discuss each one.
- Criticize - make judgments and evaluate comparative worth.
- Define - explain the exact meaning, specific to the course or subject.
- Describe - provide a detailed account, listing characteristics, qualities and parts.
- Discuss - argue the pros and cons of an issue.
- Evaluate - provide an opinion about or cite the opinion of an expert.
- Illustrate – provide iconcrete examples.
- Summarize – provide a brief, condensed account, including conclusions.
The following resources will provide further information about DBQs:
Multiple Choice/Guess Skill Building Technique - an assessment option
There are three tiers to multiple choice analysis that you can teach your students. By making a game of it - presenting 2-3 mulitple choice questions a week all taken from previous STAR exams, you can help your students build good decision-making skills. These skills will help them pass standardized exams and will provide them with life-long learning skills. This involves a three-step process:
- What do you know? What historical knowledge do you already have about this topic? If you know you answer, you don't need to go to the next step. If you know something about the topic, keep that information in mind as you go to the next step.
- What are the clues? What vocabulary or other indicators provide clues about the correct answer?
- What can you eliminate? If you can't find the answer through your knowledge of the topic or various clues, then what answers can you dismiss through a process of elimination?
You can use this great quiz on the Civil Rights Movement from Teaching Tolerance to practice this type of assessment - "What do you know about the Civil Rights Movement?" at http://www.tolerance.org/activity/how-much-do-you-know-about-civil-rights-movement
Getting your Students to distinguish between opinion and evidence - an assessment option
This chart is similar to a KWL, but it helps students with their writing. They first write what they think about the topic - their opinion. Then, they are required to find 2-3 pieces of evidence to support their thinking.
|What do I think?
||What evidence supports my thinking?
Suggested Essay Rubric
- An “A” piece of work has...
- a well-stated and clear thesis/theme/central idea;
- a polished appearance - it is neat, has correct grammar and spelling, has clearly been revised, and contains no crossouts or scribbling;
- depth and originality of thought that demonstrates clearly communicated ideas;
- a point of view that is clearly expressed;
- a wealth of specific facts to support your thesis/theme/central idea;
- a clear introduction and conclusion, supported by well-organized paragraphs;
- the minimum number of pages as explained in the assignment;
- been turned into the teacher on or before the due date.
- A “B” piece of work has...
- a thesis/theme/central idea;
- good organization with an introduction and conclusion;
- addressed at least the minimum pages assigned;
- fulfilled the requirements of the assignment in terms of content;
- good connects with specific facts that support the thesis/theme/central idea.
- A “C” piece of work...
- doesn’t quite cover the required number of pages;
- is fairly well-organized;
- contains some facts and connections, but not alot;
- proves that you had some understanding of the material you read, watched, or listened to;
- is OK.
- A “D” piece of work...
- is barely readable and minimally organized;
- contains a minimum of ideas;
- shows a minimum of effort;
- doesn’t have many specific details from the material;
- has obviously been written in haste
- An “F” piece of work...
- is a mess;
- contains no proof that you read or thought about any material;
- is difficult to follow with no organization;
- lacks pride or caring about work;
- is below your capabilities.
Suggested Presentation Rubric
On a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the highest), rate yourself/your classmate(s)
I spoke clearly ____
My partner spoke clearly ____
He/she spoke clearly ____
I made good eye contact _____
My partner made good eye contact ____
He/she made good eye contact ____
I clearly stated my theme/thesis ____
My partner clearly stated his/her thesis ____
He/she clearly stated his/her thesis ____
My presentation was well-organized ____
My partner’s presentation was well-organized ____
His/her presentation was well-organized ____
I was well-prepared ____
My partner was well-prepared ____
He/she was well-prepared ____
The students understood my presentation ____
The students understood my partner’s presentation ____
The students understood his/her presentation ____
I kept the audience’s attention ____
My partner kept the audience’s attention ____
He/she kept the audience’s attention ____
I answered questions ____
My partner answered questions ____
He/she answered questions ____
Question #4: How do we create a course syllabus that emphasizes the topics and themes that we wish to address?
Creating a Course Syllabus
- Mandatory Components of a Course Syllabus:
- Goals for the course
- What students can expect from you
- What you can expect from your students
- Outline of unit topics to be discussed, topic alignment with state standards, and timeline for each unit.
- Optional Components of a Course Syllabus
- Management/Discipline Policy
- Assessment/Grading Policy
- Attendance Policy
- Class themes or questions
- Steps to take when creating the Outline:
- Identify the course you will be teaching and where you will begin your instruction.
- Consult the Standards to give you a general idea where they want you to go in your course of instruction.
- Look at the broad subject matter in the Standards to help you determine what units you wish to teach and then select the topics in which you are most interested.
- Determine how long you think each unit should take, based upon your estimates of how long each of the topical discussions will take.
Components of a Good Introductory Letter and/or YouTube Video Introduction
Remember, you want to give the parents a good idea of who you are – this “unknown” teacher person who is taking over the class of a “known teacher.” So, at the very least, include the following in your introductory letter:
- Name and contact information – school address and your email ONLY.
- Some background information – when you graduated and from where, interest in history, traveling and/or teaching experience, visions for teaching, etc.
- Short explanation of your goals and expectations for the class.
You have the option of attaching the course syllabus.
Components of a Good Extra Credit Film List
Remember, the idea behind providing a good extra credit film list is to encourage your students to think about the actual content of the films they watch and to encourage students and their families to watch films together. The must include the following in your Extra Credit Film List, which you will attach to your introduction letter:
- Explanation of why you have provided a list of extra credit films, including the idea that they will help their students think historically (like historical scholars).
- Explanation that some of the films are “R” rated and that none are required viewing. Each film is parent optional.
- Organization of films according to chronological discussion of topics.
- Title of film, date it was released, and rating.
- The procedure students must follow to receive extra credit for film viewing.
You have the option of annotating the list, but it is not necessary.