I had a good lesson today in social studies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Man, I love when that happens!
Essential Question: What was North America like before Europeans arrived?
Learning Target: I can recall background knowledge to enhance new learning.
- I gave students a preference survey relating to various Native American culture areas:
- I discussed students’ survey results using this presentation (example slide):
(Active Engagement Bonus Points: “Raise your hand if you agree with…”)
- I then passed out oodles of sticky notes. I instructed students to write one thing they know about American Indians on each note.
- After approximately five minutes of brainstorming, I instructed students to work in small groups, combine their stickies, and categorize their ideas. Students created categories such as food, resources, clothing, housing, and many more.
- Finally, after discussing their categories and ideas in general, I assigned students a pretest so I could determine what lesson they need next.
I was BEYOND pleased with this lesson! First of all, I felt good about focusing the lesson with my essential question and learning target. I referenced each at the start of the lesson and many times throughout. Secondly, I utilized a legitimate collaboration technique (versus simply saying “Work together!” ….which I am wont to do). The energy in my room was infectious; the students were highly engaged in their work. Finally, I’m worthless at differentiation. The pretest is going to allow me to actually assign the next lesson based on students knowledge versus providing a homogenous activity. Another bonus point…I invited my instructional coach to observe this lesson! Yay me!