Learning Opportunities for Diverse Students
To meet the needs of a variety of learning styles and preferences, we will incorporate technology, art, social justice & equity, service learning, and cooperative learning
In this unit students will be exposed to a wide variety of technological tools and will interact with them in different ways. Teachers and students will use PowerPoint or Prezi and other multimedia tools like videos, music, and physics simulation software. This will provide visual aid to appeal to a variety of modalities and increase the level of engagement for students.
Students will use technology to demonstrate understanding of the content through the use of specific programs. For instance, they will create a simulation of how an atom functions. This simulation can be found at: Phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/build-an-atom. As they create their own construction of an atom by using this simulator they are able to see the effects that protons, neutrons, and electrons have on the mass and charge of an atom.
Students will also create their own presentations and have the ability to use PowerPoint, Prezi, or other multimedia tools to teach the material to middle school students.
Students consume and produce art in two separate lessons, the Propaganda lesson and the Preparation of the Presentation lesson.
Students will learn about the psychology of propaganda and its historical and modern day use. Students will create their own propaganda poster to demonstrate their understanding of the lesson.
In preparation of the final lesson, students will learn about designing a lesson and public speaking. Students design a multimedia visual representation of their lesson to show their understanding of the topic and make their lesson more engaging.
Social Justice & Equity
Our focus on social justice and equity is two fold: an analysis of intolerable acts committed against another race of people and a focus on the importance of establishing a sense of community in the classroom and in the greater community.
The entire theme of our ITU is based on social justice and equity. Our first history lesson begins with scientist fleeing Europe because of the Nazi threat. Our history lesson is concluded with the dropping of the Atomic Bomb over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Our psychology lessons address manipulation of the public to villainize the enemy and the ethical obligations of nations. Our physics lessons focus on the science that made the destruction of whole cities possible and the ethical issues of possessing that technology. Teachers educate students about the social injustice of race discrimination in the context of war to raise their awareness so they can identify and speak out about it when they recognize it.
The essential question of our final lesson is what are the talents of the group members and how can they be combined to present an engaging lesson? Students work collaboratively throughout this unit, encouraging a sense of community in the classroom and high school campus. Finally, students reach out to the local middle school in order to create a greater sense of community.
Five stages of service learning:
1. Inventory and investigation- Students catalog the interest, skills, and talents of their peers in their small groups in order assign roles. Additionally, students recognize the need of a role model for middle school students.
2. Preparation and planning- Students acquire new information through varied, engaging means and methods from three teachers in three subject areas over a two week unit. Students collaborate with community partners such as middle school teachers and administrators.
3. Action- Through the direct service of teaching and modeling academic success to 7th graders, students participate in a unique learning experience which allows them to display their academic skills and knowledge.
4. Reflection- After students present a lesson to the 7th graders, they will assess their experience (with a focus on thoughts and feelings) and performance. Also, they will be asked to assess their group members’ performance.
5. Demonstration- Students showcase what they learned by reporting to their self-and peer assessments to the teachers. Also they will include some final thoughts and feelings of the process of learning and teaching their lesson to the 7th graders.
Students present an engaging lesson to 7th graders based Physics, history, and Psychology.
Opportunity: The students will work together on their propaganda posters. They will also create final presentation lessons together.
Positive Interdependence: The students depend on each other to contribute ideas, draft the poster, create the visual, and construct an explanation of the poster. The students independently break up the tasks of creating and presenting the lesson.
Individual & Group Accountability: Individuals will be assigned roles in order for the posters to be completed; groups will present to the class as preparation for their lesson.
Group Processing:After the students complete their propaganda posters, they will debrief with their groups and assess their work, collaboration, and learning. Prompts posted on the board will guide groups through their discussions. After giving lessons, groups will complete a self-assessment (to be completed together). Groups will evaluate their effectiveness and their learning on the same assessment form.
Social Skill Development: Students will exchange ideas, negotiate the components of the product, and present the propaganda poster. Students will collaborate to plan the lesson, brainstorm ideas, negotiate roles and deadlines, and provide critique to each other. Students will also practice presentation and time management skills.
Face-to-Face Interactions: Students will work together in class to complete the propaganda products. Students will work together in class and after school to complete the project. Students will present their learning face-to-face with the middle school students.