I was really happy with the opportunity to have another person look through my inquiry unit plan. It can be difficult as the creator of the unit to spot any holes or unclear information, so having a fresh pair of eyes to go through the unit was great. The reviewer offered some valuable insight which included asking to add a rubric to have students understand exactly what is expected of them. That is something I completely missed and was really glad they caught that for me. They also voiced some concern that I also had about grouping students as there may be an uneven amount of students who want to work with each population. I think I will change it to gauge student interest in each population, have each student pick their top 3 groups they would like to work with, and I will assign the groups myself. I think this will create less chaos and confusion, and I can pick the groups to properly differentiate and make sure each student gets what they need out of the unit.
Unit Plan Website: Complete!
I have completed my unit website. You can take a look below at what I have come up with!
Inquiry Unit: Script and Storyboard
I found the story script to be helpful when recording my slides to know exactly what to say and when to say it. I attempted to use a few websites to create a storyboard, only to find them quite limiting unless I was to pay to upgrade. Instead, I decided to follow the same layout but create my own on a word document. There, I listed the images I would use through my video and the description for what I would say and describe the images. This was much easier for me. This part of the unit has caused me the most difficulty, as I have never created a digital story before. This was all completely new to me and I am still getting the hang of it. I decided to use a knovio video, as I am familiar with that site and the functions of it. The other website I attempted to use was difficult to follow.
Inquiry Unit: Interactive Activity
For my interactive activity, I have chosen to create a text map from an article entitled “Equality: Is it Still Prominent in America Today?” by Katie B. using the website www.tagul.com. The text map has taken the words most prominently used in the article and created a word map to demonstrate those words. My plan is to show students this word map to get their minds focused on their journal entry at the beginning of the unit where the prompt will be “What does equality mean to you?” This will be a precursor to the later on video, class discussion, and actual project the students will be participating in. This word map will hopefully give students ideas they may not have thought of before when answering the prompt. It will also be helpful for ELLs in seeing words they may not be familiar with, and start making connections and seeing the relationships between these words.
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Inquiry Unit: Unit Plan
I am really satisfied with the way my unit is turning out. I’m hoping that students will be able to keep the “Big Idea” questions in mind throughout it to keep them engaged and interested. I believe I have differentiated enough to give all students the opportunity to do what they are most interested in through the project portion. I do believe this unit is possible in a week time frame, but students would be having to work diligently and dividing the work up accordingly. I think giving the students the opportunity to research on their own, divide group work up accordingly and determine the information they think is most important gives them a sense of independence in the classroom. I think this project is much more meaningful if students have the majority of the control, with my guidance, assignment sheets and rubrics to keep them on task. Overall, I think this unit really engages the students and asks them to think more critically and demonstrate empathy in a way they may not have before in a regular history unit.
The Unit and Lesson plan templates were really helpful for me. It cleared any gaps in my plans and allowed me to determine the questions I wanted students to be focused on for each lesson, so they don’t get overwhelmed or bogged down with so much being asked of them. It really helped break all the material down to make it accessible for all students.
Below, I have attached my unit plan and my four lesson plans.
Click below to see the critical evaluations I have created for both students and teachers. My hope is that my survey for students will be accessible and easy to understand for all students.
Creating this mind map was definitely new territory for me. I’ve never laid my ideas out in such a way and can definitely see using this in the classroom to help students organize their ideas.
Throughout this unit, I have definitely seen the importance of inquiry in the classroom. I actually really dislike being the only one in front of the class lecturing and having students take notes off of a powerpoint. It is so boring! I love the idea of letting students determine what’s important within certain guidelines and seeing how creative they can get and what they can come up with!
The main idea of my lesson is to get students separated into groups and have them put themselves in place of a certain population of people after The Civil War. These groups will include women, African Americans, immigrants, and child laborers. Through a web inquiry, they will find valid and reliable sources to see what life was like for these populations. They will then create a visual and role-play as these various groups and present to the class why their particular group deserves equality. Having students show what they created and what they deemed as important is so much more than simply reading notes off of a powerpoint. It will help students see that they are capable of taking charge of the things they are learning about, while still following the SOLs.
My hope is that students will be able to make real connections to where they come from and see the importance of learning about our country’s past. I would love suggestions as to how I can further differentiate this activity for my ESL students.
Link to Mind Map <— Click here for an enlarged version of my mind map!