Class 10: Role-Playing – Beyond Manifest Destiny: America Enters the Age of Imperialism

second Virginia VolunteersStudents took part in a role play developed by the Choices Program. The program’s curriculum units draw upon multiple primary source documents and culminate in a rigorous student-centered role-playing activity. Students took part in a Choices lesson entitled: Beyond Manifest Destiny: America Enters the Age of Imperialism. Working cooperatively, students will advocate for one of the three options the United States considered toward Spain’s former colonies. Students draw upon primary sources and take into consideration the views of fictional townspeople to recreate this critical moment in history.

The goal of this class is to experience the role-play as teaching method. Students will be introduced to (and receive) a hands-on curriculum that uses primary sources, case studies, videos, and role-play simulations to engage students in an exploration of the concept of human rights and the challenges of international enforcement. The curriculum also introduces students to various human rights actors, and examines the current debate on U.S. human rights policy. Emphasis is placed on helping students develop the skills and habits needed for active citizenship.

The lesson was delivered by guest teacher  – Tim Graham. Tim is currently a teacher at Cleveland High School in Portland, OR. He has taught social studies for 11 years in the Portland Public Schools district, working at Roosevelt, Benson, and Franklin high schools in addition to his current placement at Cleveland. He has attended teaching seminars with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. He is currently a Choices Teaching Fellow. Tim maintains two class blogs – Modern World History and  IB HOTA.

Image credit: 2nd Virginia Volunteers  playing with a rattlesnake. Volunteers were poised for war with Spain and stationed in Pablo Beach, Florida prior to assault on Cuba. 1898
State Library and Archives of Florida call number: N041287

Class 9: DBQ Project Showcase / Sites for Social Studies / Fishbowl Continues

1950s analog computer

This class continued in our 3rd session of Lesson Studies Fishbowls, but added a tech focus.

The class showcased and offered feedback on our student-designed DBQs at Learnist>
More on DBQ Design assignment

  1. Red Scare DBQ by Christina Steiner & Kristi Convissor
  2. The Vietnam War by Samuel TS Kelley
  3. Visions of Freedom: The American Revolution by CRSoderberg
  4. Media and War: An Analysis of Vietnam War Propaganda by Damian Wierzbicki
  5. Cross-Cultural Contact Between Native American Residents and European Conquerors by Tom Malone
  6. Propaganda of the American Suffrage Movement c. 1910-1920 by Heather Treanor and Cory Cassanova
  7. Anne Frank: A Timeless Story by Erin Deatherage
  8. Images and Emotion – WWII Propaganda Posters by Aram Glick
  9. The Irish Revolutionary Period by Peter Gallagher
  10. The Power of Propaganda by Kyle Stephens

Peter shared a few of his favorite websites for students applying analytic thinking to history and social studies. They included:

Sources for historic content:

Image Credit:
1950s Analog Computer : Consolidated/Convair Aircraft Factory San Diego
San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive Archives No.: 10-000861

Class 8: Report, Regroup, Goal Setting

Class in Pole-ClimbingThis class was was devoted to taking stock of what we had accomplished and making plans for the rest of the semester.

We reported back on progress on the Nikkei project. See Peter’s post on the project – Student Consultants Design Museum Curriculum and Mobile App

Erin, Sam and Peter did a presentation at the OAtS Conference at OHSU. Teena and Amit Jain (from Gamma Point) were there as well. We got some great feedback on the app – features, navigation and uses. Aram and Tom took some photographs in the neighborhood after meeting with Todd at Legacy Center. Todd’s been focusing on finalizing material available from Nikkei archives.

Each team met during class to set goals for their component of the project. Kyle and Peter zeroed in on their intended audience for their virtual museum. Collin, Aram, Tom and Sam discussed feedback from the conference presentation and discussed next steps in the app design.

The “Museum in a Suitcase” team (Christina, Kristi, Cory, Heather, Erin and Damian) – discussed the scope of the lessons they will design. See update in Christina’s comment below

We conducted our second lesson study  with Kyle, Peter and Tom in the “Fishbowl.” Their classmates observed from outside the fishbowl. They used a T chart to track two items – lesson strengths and challenges. Feedback from in and outside the fishbowl will be used by students to improve their lesson idea.

Peter reviewed expectation for the upcoming DBQ design assignment and demonstrated use of the Learnist website that students will be using to present their DBQ’s.  He also shared the sample DBQ he posted at Learnist. Incarceration of Japanese Americans During WWII 

Image Credit:

Class in Pole-Climbing in the course for telephone electricians, with some of their instructors. University of Michigan., ca. 1918
Original Caption: Vocational training for S.A.T.C. in University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
U.S. National Archives’ Local Identifier:165-WW-119A(1)
Created By: War Department.

Nikkei Project Update

Erin and Sam presenting

Erin, Sam and Peter did a presentation at the OAtS Conference at OHSU. Teena and Amit Jain (from Gamma Point) were there as well. We got some great feedback on the app –  features, navigation and uses. Here’s a post Peter did on the Nikkei project.

Todd - Aram

Aram and Tom took some photographs in the neighborhood after meeting with Todd at Legacy Center. Todd’s been focusing on finalizing material available from Nikkei archives.

Aram-Tom