Archive for the ‘westward expansion’ Tag
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: history lab, social studies, westward expansion
Leave a Comment
Children just don’t see a lot of westerns, and when I taught about cowboys last year it was an uphill battle. This year I decided to do a “Cowboy Lab” – a hands-on experiential activity.
There will be three stations, where students will spend 15 -20 minutes.
Station 1: Roping and Vittles
This is a two-in-one. For half of the time, students will be practicing how to use a lasso (with a chair as the target) and for half the time they will be sampling cowboy vittles – chili, beef jerky, and trail mix. I sent home a letter asking for donations and was overwhelmed with my parents’ generosity.
Station 2: Cattle Drive Creation
Students will have play dough and an assortment of plastic figuriness
Station 3: Make a Western
Filed under: History Labs, Strategies | Tags: game board, project, review project, social studies, social studies teaching strategy, teaching strategy for social studies, westward expansion
Game board projects, adapted from this lesson plan on Read Write Think:
My students just finished making gameboards for Westward Expansion. It was a learning experience for all of us! I want to share the details, handouts, and my reflections here.
Students took on the role of gameboard designers whose task it was to create a learning/review game for Westward Expansion. Each child was assigned a partner and they used their textbooks, Joy Hakim’s Reconstructing America to write 25 questions each. They were not allowed to duplicate questions. They were asked to write 10 easy, 10 medium, and 5 hard questions on this template:
The original idea is that they would write questions as they thought of them, and then evaluate the difficulty level. Next year we want to redesign this sheet with 10 spaces for EASY, 10 for MEDIUM with examples right above the appropriate spaces to provide additional support.
The dialogue about the content was amazing – the children really gave themselves a great review of the content. So much so that my partner teacher and I have decided this part of the project should come prior to the unit test. Another modification for next year will be to provide a list of key terms/people/concepts to provide additional support for question writers.
Once the questions were written, the teams worked together to design their gameboard using a file folder, markers, and their imaginations. The game’s purpose was to reflect the theme of Westward Expansion (earn your homestead by _____, complete the transcontinental railroad, etc) as well as the design of the board itself. Rules were to be written that would incorporate their questions into play. Each partner was responsible for half of the gameboard (the file folder crease made this simple).
I have done a similar project in years past, and with some tweaking I know we will implement this again next year. It takes two days to design the board, write the rules and have some time to play them. The question writing will be introduced as test review, and what isn’t finished in one class period becomes homework. The dialogue about the content – what was important, and how could they make it fun was well worth the time.
Filed under: Interactive Whiteboard Resources, Technology, Technology Integration | Tags: interactive whiteboard, interactivity, social studies, sod house, Technology, westward expansion
Leave a Comment
The above interactivity is part of the OurStory Website, put together by the Smithsonian. You click through a series of questions asking how you to make decisions about building your sod house. You receive feedback about each decision, right or wrong.
It would be great to use on an interactive whiteboard for a whole class activity, or as a link on your website for individual work at school or home.