I have the privilege of teaching two World History courses in addition to my Tech Coaching duties. This allows me to implement on my own and better model the many new innovative strategies I have learned on my tech coaching journey. One of these strategies is building context with YouTube.
Our new lesson covers Revolutions of the 18th century. The lesson includes the American Revolution and how it influenced Revolutions around the world, France in particular. A large segment of my students are English learners or they are reading far below grade level. I cannot assume students know what Revolution means.
Borrowing a design thinking strategy I picked up in the Google Certified Innovator Academy, I have students begin thinking about what they think they know using Crazy 8's (Thanks Les McBeth). Students find a space on the whiteboard walls and drew a grid with 8 empty boxes. When I started the timer, each student drew a visual that comes to mind when they think of Revolution. Every 30 seconds they move to a new box on the grid and draw another visual. They repeat this process until all 8 boxes are filled.
Upon finishing the Crazy 8s, students did a gallery walk looking at everyone's Crazy 8's. They were tasked to draw a question mark on visuals they did not understand. After making one full rotation around the room, I made note of the visuals that had the most amount of question marks. I called upon those students to explain their visuals to help the class better understand their thinking.
The next step was for students to write a definition, in their own words, above their grid. They returned to their seats, and on one of the Cardinal Innovation Center's 70 in TVs, we watched a series of videos from YouTube that I identified as examples of Revolution. The first video was a clip from WWE Monday Night Raw when ECW stars invaded and attacked WWE stars and started an extreme Revolution in wrestling. Next, students watched clips of Caesar the Ape leading an ape revolt in the movie Planet of the Apes. The final video was a music video from the band Twisted Sister, "We're Not Going To Take It."
After some reflection upon the videos, students went back to their definitions and erased them. They wrote revised definitions of Revolution based on their reflections, discussion and examples from YouTube. A new gallery walk ensued and students looked at all the definitions. They returned to their small groups and were given a task. The task is to come up with a group definition and then act out a 45-60 second skit, on video, demonstrating their understanding of Revolution.
The thinking behind this lesson is to give students a more solid understanding of Revolution before delving deep into the American and French Revolutions. I am excited to see student definitions and videos. Stay tuned.