Inspiration 1: Examining Slavery
Posted by newbie-tchr at 9:08 am in 1

My curriculum was rewritten recently, so that 7th grade teachers now start with Reconstruction versus just after. As such, I thought that slavery – the reason for a lot of Reconstruction laws, would be a good place to start.

In order to give students a better grasp of what slavery was like, I intend on treating slave songs as primary sources that students will analyze to see what the system was like, or how slaves in particular felt about it. I found some great songs to use, here and here. My plan is to create three different rotation centers, two using the PBS website with students listening to different songs & the third to have printed paper copies of songs from the first. Students will analyze the sources using APPARTS & then the class will come together to share answers and discuss what their impression of slavery is.

While a short activity (probably one 43 minute class) I think it has the potential to teach students what life was like prior to the Civil War, and why the Reconstruction government attempted to drastically change it. Not to mention that it’s a textbook free way of looking history:)

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New focus for July!
Posted by newbie-tchr at 1:18 pm in 1

I’ll be the first to admit – I’ve been embarrassingly bad about keeping up with the blog over the past month. School ended, got married, went on a honeymoon – who knew those things could take up so much time? But, I’m back & thanks to the all the reading I was able to get done ocean-side last week, I’ve got a new focus!

One particular book that I read inspired me – Lies my Teacher Told Me, by James Loewen. I know I’m a few years behind the times, but the book had some really great points that I intend to incorporate in my classroom this fall. (The focus of the book is going beyond textbooks, and teaching students real American history versus the watered down, slightly incorrect version they normally get.

So, for the rest of July I will focus on activities, lesson plans, resources that I can incorporate in my teaching to better teach students accurate history! Should make things wonderfully easy come fall:)

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