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Re-conceptualizing the Middle School Curriculum 7 th and 8 th Grade U.S. History Suggested by: Whitney Foehl.

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Presentation on theme: "Re-conceptualizing the Middle School Curriculum 7 th and 8 th Grade U.S. History Suggested by: Whitney Foehl."— Presentation transcript:

1 Re-conceptualizing the Middle School Curriculum 7 th and 8 th Grade U.S. History Suggested by: Whitney Foehl

2 How do we shift our curriculum choices and planning to make room for more student engagement, higher level thinking, and CCSS?

3 Use the textbook about half of the time, and my curriculum is planned with it 1 10 5-6 Never use the textbook 2 3 4 Use the textbook 5+ times a year Use the textbook only once in a while, selecting a few passages to use when needed Use the textbook about half the time but don’t plan my curriculum with it Use the textbook and/or textbook materials everyday Use the textbook about twice a week, and my curriculum is planned around it Use the textbook most of the time and plan around it 7 8-9

4 What does the research say about textbook use in social studies classes? Research Activity: Read the quote with your partner(s) and follow these three steps: 1)Agree or Disagree 2)Add Your Viewpoint 3)Collaborate…Pose One Question

5 Emphasis on the textbook is accompanied by an emphasis on memorization, with class lecture being the most frequent instructional method reported and instruction dominated by the textbook. The Nation’s Report Card: Literature and U.S. History, 1987 Multiple sources can allow students to think historically, meaning they can relate to the peoples and cultures of the past from a variety of viewpoints and perspectives, not just the one almighty master narrative often found in textbooks (Wineburg, 1991). Studies clearly indicate that using alternative sources or a selection of multiple texts can help with content knowledge and also foster critical thinking (Grant & Gradwell, 2005; Nokes, Dole, & Hacker, 2007). Emotion and empathy too, are often left out of textbooks, leaving them dull and cold, an authoritative voice for all to follow, and this is another reason to use multiple sources in a history curriculum (Hansen, 2009; Wineburg, 1991). Textbooks are written in such a way that students cannot move beyond the facts, and students associate knowledge with information, therefore textbooks hinder higher order thinking (Diaz, Middendorf, Pace, & Shopkow, 2008; Lavere; 2008, Nokes, Dole, & Hacker, 2007; Wineburg, 1991). Ongoing debates about biased content in secondary history texts comes out of the history wars of the 1990s when there were ongoing critiques of the content of history textbooks (Sewall, 2000). Many were concerned with historical falsities or accepted points of view that were overtly biased, and inclusions of some groups while ignoring others, especially with regards to minority groups (Fitzgerald, 1979; Forbes, 1996; Loewen, 1995; Romanowski, 1996). Some critics ask why more history teachers don’t engage students in interpretation and analysis of the textbook (Barton & Levstik, 2003; Patterson & Speed, 2007)

6 Creating and designing your own curriculum does NOT mean abandoning the textbook… It means relying and utilizing the textbook less, in order to make space and time for a variety of texts, activities, strategies, discussions, and projects.

7 What matters most is how you frame your lessons around the questions you ask… When you bring the lens back to widen the picture, you see the themes of history and you also expose who is in the margins. Why, or how, do essential questions allow for more relevancy in history lessons?

8 Why do countries go to war with each other? Why did England, Spain, and France fight?

9 What does this table tell us about world affairs from 1688-1945?

10 Think about the first units you will teach this fall…. Create 3-5 essential thematic questions (questions that cross time and space) you’d like to address: (Sometimes I have ONE overreaching question and then a series of subset questions) These questions FRAME the unit, the lessons, and the assessments

11 Why explore Mars? Why colonize Mars? What are the causes and effects of exploration and colonization?

12 Why did Europeans explore and colonize North America? Please transform the answers into words that begin with the letter G…



15 In what ways did Europeans interact with Native Americans?

16 EnglishFrenchSpanish Location in North America European Attitudes, Patterns of Conquest, And Interaction Case Study: Lasting Effects: Native American Interaction Chart Colonial Period

17 Our Lady of Guadalupe also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe is a celebrated Catholic image of the Virgin Mary. According to tradition, the image appeared miraculously on the cloak of Juan Diego, a simple indigenous farmer, near Mexico City on December 12, 1531. Today it is displayed in the Basilica of Guadalupe nearby, the most visited Catholic shrine in the world. The Virgin of Guadalupe is Mexico's most popular religious and cultural image, with the titles "Queen of Mexico", "Empress of the Americas", and "Patroness of the Americas". Before this image appeared, the Spanish colonists had a hard time converting the native Mexicans to Catholicism, which was the Spanish religion that most natives rejected. After this image was established, thousands of native Mexicans converted to Catholicism. Today, Mexicans are largely Catholic and speak Spanish, among other cultural traits, due to the period of Spanish colonization. This symbol is a mix of the Catholic religion and native spirituality. She is described as a representation of the Immaculate Conception (Virgin Mary), with the sun rays surrounding her, the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. Yet, despite this picture’s subject coming from Catholicism, the image also contained a hidden layer of symbolism and messages for the indigenous (native) people of Mexico, which might explain her popularity. Her blue-green robe was the color reserved for the divine, or godly, native couple Ometecuhtli and Omecihuatl. Her belt is interpreted as a sign of pregnancy; and a cross-shaped image symbolizing the universe, or cosmos, is inscribed beneath the image's sash. She was called "mother of maguey," maguey is the plant source of the sacred drink called pulque. The rays of light surrounding her doubled as maguey spines from the plant. Her skin tone was also darker, a big change from how she was depicted in Europe, as lighter skinned. Our Lady of Guadalupe

18 case study Noun A process of research in which detailed consideration is given to the development of a particular matter over a period of time. A particular instance of something used or analyzed to illustrate a principle.





23 Based on these visuals… How was colonial society similar to, and different than, today’s society?

24 The Colonial Economy Game….

25 Recognize when your textbook CAN work for you…..

26 “Less is More” What does this mean and how do these two textbook excerpts demonstrate the meaning?

27 The Essential Questions and Thematic Lesson Planning Always write essential questions on board and refer to them often Incorporate essential questions into lessons….as an opener, exit ticket, partner talk, brain storm, review, or introduction to projects Focus assessment around essential questions Require students to use EVIDENCE when answering questions Teach the skill of questioning to students and require that students practice questioning on a regular basis, in a variety of ways Share themes with students…don’t keep anything a secret Name your lessons and units around themes, not textbook chapters (How the West was Won, Rise of Corporate Capitalism and Organized Labor, Civil Rights and the Fights for Change) Require students understand and apply themes, as they would any other content (application can come w/ classwork, homework, projects, or discussions).

28 Please note: This is not a great example because it is older and has evolved since then…but it was the only one I had! Notebook / Portfolio Assignment: With my help, you will be creating your own history source, your notebook. You will study from this source, so it is important to take care in completing it neatly. If you have a messy, unorganized, or incomplete notebook you will not have a good source to study from for quizzes and exams. You are, in a sense, creating your own textbook! Bring your notebook with you EVERY class. Failure to do so will cause confusion and dizziness. Do not lose your notebook! If you do lose it, come see me immediately. Rubric: Each page in your notebook is worth 5 points. The notebook will be checked every 20 entries, about twice a semester, maybe more. Each check is worth 100 points (5 x 20). To get full credit on any given page, you must: Have it in the right order with the page number in the upper right hand Complete the requirements for that page, whether it be homework, class work, or handouts Information on that page is neat and organized…as to study from it later. If a page is incomplete, depending on how much, there will be 1-4 points taken off If a page is missing, you will get -5 for that page (zero points). Please note: Sometimes one “page” in your notebook could really include 2-3 pages (ie: page #12 has 2 pages or page # 50 has three parts or pieces to it) Other points: Grade Trackers must be up to date, math done correctly, and grade avg. in margin for 5 points. Notebook Log must be labeled correctly and neatly so you can find pages easily. Negative points could be assigned for incomplete or illegible labeling. Random points could be taken off for what I call “a total mess”. Note: Notebook Checks can raise your grade pretty easily if you follow along in class and make up work when you’ve been absent. If you get behind on your notebook, come in to catch up or sit with a friend and figure it out. Do not flake on your notebook because your misery will trickle down onto other grades in my class. Visa versa, incomplete homework and class work will reflect on your notebook grade.

29 Future Workshops (continuation of this work): Choose either…. Saturday Nov. 16 th from 8am-4pm Or Thursday Afternoons: 9/12, 10/3, 10/24, 11/14 From 3:30-5:30 During these we will explore more options for reconceptualizing the MS curriculum and have an opportunity to work more on your own (or in groups), to prepare for this shifting. Also, we will share games, simulations, and seminars, as well as discuss the importance of these!

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