Did the Western Migration in the mid 19th century draw women to fight for equality as they obtained more responsibility?~ Jordan Bonnell
This semester my EdMethods students used Microsoft Sway for their final lesson design projects. This document-based lesson by Nick Krautscheid explores American reactions to the Vietnam War through a variety of source material – popular music, news coverage, letters and videos.
I’m very pleased to share a new multi-touch iBook just published by my Social Studies Methods class at the University of Portland. Exploring History: Vol V was our PBL capstone and is available free at iTunes in 51 countries around the world. It features these World and US History lessons:
- WWII Propaganda: Close Reading by Nancy Guidry
- The Limits of Leadership by Paxton Deuel
- African Imperialism by Kelly Sutton
- The Harlem Renaissance by Taran Schwartz
- Western Expansion Text Set by James Bayless
- An Account of The Red Summer by David Grabin
This book is the fifth in a series of “Exploring History” titles designed by my UP preservice social studies teachers. The books have been very popular – with over 30,000 downloads from nearly two dozen countries. Writing for an authentic and global audience has been one of the prime motivators in this on going publishing project.
It features six engaging questions and historic documents that empower students to be the historian in the classroom. The units draw from a fascinating collection of text and multimedia content – documents, posters, photographs, audio, video, letter and other ephemera. “Stop-and-think” prompts based on CCSS skills guide students through analysis of the primary and secondary sources. Essential questions foster critical thinking. All documents include links back to the original source material so readers can remix the content into their own curated collections.
All of my student’s wrote for a public audience on our class blog and pursued three class goals:
- Learn to think like a historian.
- Become a skillful instructional designer
- Develop technical skills for production, reflection, growth and professional networking.
The lesson design process began early in the semester when students designed lessons in historical thinking skills based on the work of Sam Wineburg and the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG). They focussed on three key skills – Sourcing, Contextualizing and Corroborating. Then students identified essential questions worth answering and gathered documents to explore the question.
Here’s a post (from fall ’13 class) that describes our project workflow (including how we utilized iBooks Author). The Exploring History includes four additional volume
This fall my social studies methods class at the University of Portland will work with the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education (OJMCHE) to design curriculum for the Oregon Holocaust Memorial in Washington Park here in Portland Ore. With historical memorials in the news and neo-Nazis on the march, this community-based challenge will allow my students to use a PBL approach to explore instructional design with purpose. The lessons learned will serve them well in their careers as secondary social studies teachers.
“Why do we build memorials? Why/ what do we need to remember?
~ Nancy Guidry, student.
My students will team with OJMCHE Holocaust Educator, April Slabosheski to create lessons to support middle and high school visits to the Memorial. I invite readers to follow our progress here and at our class blog. We welcome your advice, suggestions and encouragement.
After our first visit to the memorial I invited students to share their reactions:
- Imagine a primary source account for each of the lost belongings – baby’s shoe, broken violin, abandoned suitcase, baby doll telling the story of a childhood ripped away. ~ James Bayless
- What is truly amazing is how a carefully architected combination of stone and aluminum can evoke such strong emotions (i.e. sadness, fear, anger, etc.). I didn’t know any of those names engraved upon the dark grey stone wall, but I shared part of their suffering and pain by merely reading their names and imagining their circumstances. It became evident to me that we humans are truly all connected– this connection stretching across time, place, ethnicity and circumstance. Amazing. ~ Paxton Deuel
- What struck me the most was probably the simplicity of it. No amount of elaboration would do justice to the horror remembered there, so it seemed appropriate, in a way. ~ Taran Schwartz
- One train of thought that really stuck with me was the idea of reflection. We don’t necessarily always stop and reflect on the buildup of extremely catastrophic events. We tend to merely focus on the event itself. Very excited for this project. ~ Kelly Sutton
- What an exciting opportunity! Should keep the Oregon survivor central- these are people within our community; how far reaching these events were, how connected we are to history. The town square design was particularly powerful; idea that that was where holocaust really started- othering Jews and people let it happen. Idea that the town square is also a place where future things like this can be prevented- people taking to the streets in solidarity, people gathering to talk across differences. ~ Nancy Guidry
More on the Oregon Holocaust Memorial:
The Oregon Holocaust Memorial was dedicated on August 29, 2004. The memorial features a stone bench adorned with wrought-iron gating, screened from the street by rhododendron bushes. The bench sits behind a circular, cobblestoned area – simulating a town square. During the Holocaust, many Jewish families were gathered in town squares before being loaded onto trains and taken to concentration camps. The square contains scattered bronzes of shoes, glasses, a suitcase, and other items to represent everyday objects that were left behind. A European-style, cobblestone walkway with inlaid granite bars, simulating railroad tracks, leads to a wall of history panels – giant, stone placards that offer a brief history of the Holocaust and quotes from Holocaust survivors. At the end of the wall is the soil vault panel. Buried below the panel are interred soil and ash from six killing-center camps of the Holocaust – Chelmno, Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec, Majdanek, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. The back of the wall is engraved with the names of people who died in the camps, followed by the names of their surviving relatives in Oregon and SW Washington. Source
Image credits: Peter Pappas
My Social Studies Methods class at the University of Portland recently published a free multi-touch iBook – Exploring History: Vol IV. It features eight engaging questions and historic documents that empower students to be the historian in the classroom. For more info on our project and free download of a pdf or multi-touch iBook version click here.
To better publicize student work, I’m featuring each chapter in it’s own blog post. See more in the series here
From Revolution to Government by Valerie Schiller
Valerie frames here lesson with two essential questions: How did the debates of colonial America shape the Constitution? Do these issues still affect American government and its citizens today?