To end the year in my fifth grade classroom, I came up with an idea. In fifth grade, we give the students final exams over what we have covered in the final trimester of the year. To make this more interesting, I gave my students a task. They were assigned a lesson in the final chapter covering the four regions (although there should be five, and they had to come up with the content and review activity for the lesson. I gave them three school days to compile what they needed to teach us, and then each group had one class period to execute their plan. It is just amazing what happens when you allow students to be creators. Most of my students used the schools iPad cart to make an iMovie for the content to deliver. Then after the video, students would ask questions of the other groups to "quiz" them on what they had just learned. I had one group bring in donuts for a prize (their class was first thing in the morning!), and another group make a Jeopardy style game using Keynote. They would have a "Daily Double" type of question but you would have to use an "Angry Birds" challenge game to get your points. Very interesting and very informative. I only gave the students a little guidance and they ran with it. All but one of my groups hit the nail on the head. It will be interesting to see what questions the students have after break.
Next year, I will have to make sure my directions are more clear and concise. To me, one group not getting the idea, (they did not teach the class anything and focused more on the vocabulary of the lesson, rather than the teaching about cultures of North Africa) is one to many.
The other day while I was reading through some of the blogs I subscribe to, I came across this video. Published by Leaving toLearn, it does a great job of explaining what our students expect out of school. It is worth your time to watch. While watching you should be thinking of a couple questions. The first, how is my school living up to the expectations of our students? Secondly, are we doing all we can to make sure our students will be ready for the future?
George Phillip is a social studies teacher and designer.
Ramsey Musallam - www.cyclesoflearning.com
Karl Lindgren-Streicher -
Josh Stumpenhorst -
Jason Bretzmann -
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.