Thursday, December 20, 2007

This is what we call "Data-Dr!ven !nstruction"

Since the children don't know their historical details, and today I wasn't feeling the need to drill them in test nonsense, instead we reviewed a timeline of the last 400 years of American history!

I showed them the part of the US that used to be Mexico, and I showed them a very rough idea of Lewis and Clarks' route to the Pacific. I made sure to make it clear when the civil war and underground railroad happened (and the kids asked if it was really under the ground), and also a couple civil rights big moments. Because I'm tired of hearing the Martin Luther King freed the slaves!

Also mentioned were the World Wars, Custer's Last Stand, Washington being the first President in 1789, the Titanic sinking in 1912, and the Berlin Wall.

One girl asked me if I was Dutch, because I kept teaching them Dutch things. Another girl asked me if I was Irish, because of my nose and ears.

Best of all, at one point, one kid piped up, "Miss, are you teaching us Social Studies?"
I replied, "I'm teaching you. Just because I'm your English teacher doesn't mean I can't teach you other things I know or things you need to learn."
"Yeah!" said another.

Speaking of things to learn, I brought in some National Geographics and Smithsonians, and by the kids' reaction, you would have thought they were gameboys or something. They--all three classes--are so excited and interested by these magazines! I saw them pointing things out to each other excitedly, eagerly paging through the articles, staring in wonder/disgust at close-up pictures of different bugs. It's really exciting to see them be so interested. (Actually, the Herd was *too* interested and I had to scold them.)

Therefore, and I mentioned this to the Grey Bunnies, after the Big Day Next Month, I'd like them to find something they're interested in one of the magazines, and doing a writing project about it. They seemed to think that sounded good. Yay!


ntb24 said...

I have high school seniors who cannot comprehend the difference between the slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. Whether we were reading Frederick Douglass, Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King Jr, or Langston Hughes--they were all upset at being slaves.

I might have to use the timeline idea next semester!

dramamath said...

Sounds like a great success!