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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Ss Created WWII History Walk

It was nearing the end of our study of WWII and I was wondering how my students could best show what they learned and also have them be content creators.  After mulling over many different options, I determined that creating an @aurasma history walk would do the trick.

There were two essential questions I wanted the students to address:

1. Was the cost of entering the war in Europe, worth it for the US?
2. Should we have dropped the bombs on Japan?

The students were assigned a side and given the directions to the project in a Google Doc so they could reference it from home as well.

Here are snipits from the rubric:
1. You chose a trigger picture that is of high quality and is emblematic of your given assignment.
2. It is clear that you used critical thinking when choosing this overlay because it is clear evidence to support your assignment.
3. Your overlay is quality evidence that your peers will be able to utilize in their decision about the essential questions.
4. Your POV paragraph contains three pieces of evidence to back up your opinion.

The students were to find their own video link or create their own to overlay on a picture they chose as a trigger.  Both must be quality evidence for the side of the question they were given.  They had to keep their audience in mind as well.  They needed to make sure the evidence was helpful and meaningful to their classmates as they walked through the WWII History Walk.

The engagment level of this project was 100% at all points.  They were excited to learn the process of creating an Aurasma.  They were focused and engaged in deep conversations as they searched for video clips that met the requirements listed above.  After they finished creating the evidence for the history walk we went to the cafeteria to make our museum and the students wanted to help hang up the evidence so we could get started sooner.  They paired up and collected the evidence and then sketched out their POV paragraphs.  Once the finished that process, they went to the @padlet and put their POV paragraphs up so their classmates could see their thoughts and we could also see, based on the evidence, where the class stood on both essential questions.

From a teacher standpoint, I couldn't wait for this class (more than ususal) each day during this project.  I was continually amazed at the conversations and critical thinking showed when looking for videos.

Some of the things I overheard:
"Could you imagine being the government official deciding to send those boys to war?"
"I don't think I could have been that pilot to drop the bombs.  It changed history and the lives of so many"
"We needed to go to war in Europe.  They were our allies, they needed us"
"We should avoid war at all costs. It doesn't matter if they were our allies, war doesn't solve anything"
"We have the UN now.  We need that more than ever now. If it meant we had to go to war to get it, so be it"
"I have to find a better video clip. I don't want mine to be the weakest evidence!"

Not only were they engaged, they were able to show what they learned, create content, have meaningful conversations, and curate a collection of evidence that will allow them to reference it later when studying for the NYS Regent's Exam.

Here is the link to the @padlet with their POV paragraphs:

If you have questions, you can find me at @apgovme 

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