Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Ideas on Historical Thinking and Technology

I just watched some videos from the Post-Curriculum Day on October 13th that I missed due to my knee surgery and was blown away! My underlying goal to teaching all my social studies curriculum is to get my students to see both sides or perspectives of an event/time in history AND to get them to ask more questions and think more critically about what they think they already know.  I want to tie this into my project lesson plans.  I watched the Historical Thinking Matters video and it was exactly up my alley!  It compared common well known thinking about the Battle of Lexington against primary source documents and showed how a historian might ask questions to compare the differing information.  I teach 5th grade and the content is more high school but I think I would still show it to my 5th graders because it demonstrates the concept so well but tell them not to stress over some of the terms. Here is the link in case you missed this in class:

I also watched some videos on Common Craft style videos and how a 8th grade teacher had his students create their own paper style videos to demonstrate a history term/event and they were amazing!  I could see my 5th grade students loving this too.  I listened to the teacher's podcast of exactly how it did this lesson(s) and started brainstorming of how I could modify it for 5th grade.  This teacher's blog has links to the podcasts, the students' finished videos on youtube and photos of how he set up the shooting.  I am now toying with the idea of merging these two ideas for my project.  Maybe create a Common Craft style video on three/four well known events such as the Boston Tea Party, Boston Massacre and the Battles of Lexington and Concord.  In their say 2-3 minute video they would show first what is widely thought/known about the event and then show images/pictures of primary source documents that show something different and end the video with a "You Decide" type message?  The links below show both what Common Craft Videos are and the 8th grade teacher's blog with student examples.  This is so exciting...I am still in the euphoria stage.  I need to step back and start looking at nuts & bolts of can I pull this off?  Will this be effective and rewarding for my students? Can I modify well enough for 5th grade students?

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