Class 10: Who Gets to Vote?

Featured image: Who Gets to Vote


This class will examine the essential question – who gets to vote in the US. (And who doesn’t). It will also be a chance to explore a bit of role play.

This class will include two student-led lessons by :
Angela Nguyen | Zoom video
Maggie Loft | Zoom video (Some of lesson is on Nearpod, not video)

Class Session | Zoom Video

We will begin by discussing the question: What should the requirements be for voting in the United States?  We will then identified groups that have traditionally been the target of voter suppression. Student will then work in groups to design voter laws.

Finally students will assume the roles of voters and look at the impact of voter regulations on their right to vote. Note: this lesson is inspired by “Who Gets to Vote? Teaching About the Struggle for Voting Rights in the United States” from the Zinn Education Project.

Our process in more detail:

  1. Open with them Brainstorm on a shared Jamboard “What should be the requirements for voting in the United States?”
  2. Then brainstorm on a shared Jamboard – some categories of people who have been targeted with voter suppression.
  3. Broke into 3 groups and asked them to brainstorm on Jamboard regulations that would suppress targeted groups of voters.
  4. I had prepared a condensed list of voters from the lesson mixer role play. Assigned one to each student.
  5. Students met in breakout groups to discuss their roles and how any of our new regulations impacted their right to vote.
  6. Session ended with an open discussion of what they’ve heard on the subject of voter suppression in the 2020 cycle.

Since it is the eve of election day – we will also make some predictions.

Assignment 10: Design an Alternative History | Alt histories 20-A10

In preparation for next week’s class – students should watch the video. Segregated by Design. It examines the forgotten history of how our federal, state and local governments unconstitutionally segregated every major metropolitan area in America through law and policy.

In honor of the historic nature of the 2020 election, students will have the opportunity to explore historical turning points and their own creativity by designing an alternative history. Students should have fun with this. It could be set in any era or region of the world.

You should embed the slide show in a post. Include at least an explanation on why you feel this event was a historical turning point.

Click here to make a copy and then modify.


It’s recommended that you begin my making a few copies of the template. Might be good in back up or to use with your students. Take care not break the built in hyperlinks. This template was adopted from a Keynote template created by Aussie educator, Jamie Clark @XpatEducator. See his collection of Teaching & Learning Resources. (Lots of great free downloadable templates.)

How to prepare you Google slide for embedding on blog post

  1. Once you have finished slide show. Set Share to “Anyone with a link can view.”
  2. On toolbar click “File/Publish to web.”
  3. Click on embed
  4. Set “auto-advance” to every minute. (That will give viewer chance to navigate.)
  5. Click publish and you will get embed code to use with HTML Snippets.

Featured image Photo by Unseen Histories on Unsplash
Caption reads, “[Marchers with signs at the March on Washington, 1963]” Original black and white negative by Marion S. Trikosko. Taken August 28th, 1963, Washington D.C, United States (@libraryofcongress). Colorized by Jordan J. Lloyd. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Class 9: Close Reading Historical Documents

Close Reading Historical Documents


This class will include two student-led lessons and content originally planned for class 7.

Student- led lessons by:
Justin Loye | Zoom Video
Nicolas Vavuris | Zoom Video with some content on NearPod

Class Session | Zoom Video

Teachers can use historical documents to build literacy skills in a content area while empowering students to be the historian in the classroom. But document-based  instruction in this context requires four key elements to be successful:

  1. The right documents. (shouldn’t be reliant on background knowledge)
  2. Knowing how to “read” the historical document.
  3. Letting students discover their own patterns, then asking students to describe, compare and defend what they found.
  4. Basing the task on enduring questions, the kind that students might actually want to answer.

In Class 9 we will practice some strategies for assisting students to more closely read a document (in all their multimedia formats) by answering three Common Core questions. Broad version:

  1. What does it say?
  2. How does it say it?
  3. What’s it mean to me?

More specifically, what do we mean by close reading? Teachers can guide students with scaffolding questions that explore “texts” (in all their formats).

Key Ideas and Details:

What does the text say? Identify the key ideas. What claims does the author make? What evidence does the author use to support those claims?

Craft and Structure:

Who created the document? What’s their point of view / purpose? How did the text say it? How does it reflect its historic time period?

Integration of Knowledge and ideas

Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text. Recognize disparities between multiple accounts. Compare text to other media / genres. How does it connect to what we’re learning? 

And what’s it mean to me?

How does the document connect to my life and views? The author is trying to convince me of … I do (or don’t) trust this document because … What historic “voices” are missing?

Assignment 9: Close Reads | Close Reads 20-A9

Short Reading Assignment for next week. Our class will be on voting rights in honor of the election. Read Axios Deep Dive: Race and voting in America

Students will design a learning activity that feature at least three historical documents. Each document should be supported with scaffolding questions that guide the user to a close reading of the historical content. You can use prompts (such as above) inspired by the SHEG Historical Thinking Chart.

The three documents should fall within a theme or era. That can also serve to help design of lesson title and featured image.

All lesson content can be directly displayed in your post. Or you could embed content from another platform – Google suite, NearPod, etc.

Be sure your blog post has:

  1. Featured image and clever title
  2. Target student group. Grade, course.
  3. Lesson context
  4. Three historical documents with close reading prompts.
  5. “Teacher’s guide” to what you would expect for student answers.
  6. Where you got the document(s). Include working URL. (Be sure it’s in public domain)

Class 8: Remote Teaching Demo Lessons


Each student in the class will remotely “teach” a 20-25 minute learning activity. The rest of the class will act as participate / observers – serving as “students” during the lesson and afterwards, giving feedback to the “teacher.”

“Teachers” have prepared a learning activity and written an blog post following guidelines outlined here in assignment 7. All posts were due 10/16 regardless of which class students will teach.

Schedule for teaching remote demo lessons:

October 19Alex Pilat | Zoom Video
Crisanto De Guzman | Zoom Video
Francesca Duncan | Zoom Video
Tyler Soldat | Zoom Video (Some content on NearPod, not in video)
October 26Justin Loye | Zoom Video
Nicolas Vavuris | Zoom Video ((Some content on NearPod, not in video)
November 2Angela Nguyen | Zoom video
Maggie Loft | Zoom video (Some content on NearPod, not in video)
November 9Lillian Healy
Alex Priaulx

Class Session | Full Class Zoom Video

Participate / observers will use the following prompts to guide their feedback  immediately following the lesson.

  1. Contentas a student, what were you learning – facts, skills, insights?
  2. Processwhat did you see the teacher do to set up and deliver the lesson?
  3. Productwhat were you, as a student, tasked to “do / produce” to demonstrate your learning?
  4. Assessmentas an observer, how did the lesson go? Insights on content, delivery, workflow. Suggestions?

Assignment 8: Explain with Video | Videos 20-A8

Students will design and record a short video explainer (5 minutes or less). They will embed the video into a blog post and briefly describe lesson context, audience and purpose: For example, is this to help parents with homework? Or to provide students background for a new unit.

A lot of a teacher’s time is spent explaining things to students – typically by talking to them. But teachers can create short videos to explain things that otherwise would need to be repeated. In this class, we’ll look at a few ways to “automate” explanations with video. Teaching with videos is a great way to flip a class or create “stations” in a virtual classroom.

1. Do a screen capture using QuickTime Player (built into Macs)
2. Do a screen capture using Loom (a free app) or any other screen capture tool you like.
2. Sketch out a lesson and videotape it with your smartphone

  • Keep it simple. Think of audience and purpose. 
  • Keep it short. Why make students sit through a long how-to?
  • If you can, use a plug in mic (just a standard smartphone earbud mic works well). Do a quick test to check the volume level and mic position first to get sound level right.
  • Practice a few times to find efficient ways to demonstrate and describe what you’re doing.
  • If you will be entering much text as part of the task, I create a text document first so I can copy/paste text into what you’re demonstrating ( I hate watching videos of people typing.)


Mac Quicktime Player
This video shows an older Mac running Quicktime Player.
This is how the Quicktime Player record controls look on latest version of Mac OS Catalina.

The process is the same as the video above – just slightly different controls.
Scroll through two images.

Once you have finished your screen recording. You can upload to YouTube directly from QuickTime using "Share"

Once you have finished your screen recording. You can upload to YouTube directly from QuickTime using “Share”

Once your video is on YouTube get your YouTube video’s URL and paste it into YouTube Block in WordPress

Once your video is on YouTube get your YouTube video’s URL and paste it into YouTube Block in WordPress

Option 2 – Create a Screencast using Loom

The video below is a quick intro to Loom. In it the teacher suggests using it to narrate a Keynote presentation. Loom will host your video on their server. So you can easily email a link of the video to your students. And there is no need to upload your video to YouTube. Here is how to get the Loom embed code.

Option 3 – Sketch out a lesson and videotape it

Shoot a video using your smartphone. You can use little slips of paper or you could draw. If you’re not an artist, you could also shoot a video of you reading a picture book.
Note: You’ll need an extra pair of hands or tripod rig to hold the phone.

Hosting the video

If you use Quicktime Player, you should plan to upload it to your YouTube account and embed using the YouTube block built into WordPress.

If you use Loom – that service will host your video. You will need to get an embed code from the app and embed into your post using HTML Snippets.

If you shoot a sketch video on your phone, you can transfer it to a computer and then upload to YouTube from there. Embed using the YouTube block built into WordPress.

Class 7: Lesson Idea Pitch Session

Lesson Idea Pitch Session

Note: This lesson was originally planned to include instruction in close reading. Never had the time.


Class will feature students pitching their ideas for in class teaching lessons to be delivered after fall break. Students will share their ideas “Pecha Kucha” style and consist of maximum of 20 slides. Each one timed to automatically advance at 20 seconds. 

Class Session | Zoom Video

Students will deliver their class teaching lessons to the group and receive feedback.

Assignment 7: Teach an in-class lesson |  Lessons 20-A7

Students will develop and deliver a 20-25 min lesson in their assigned class. Student should be prepared to deliver the lesson via Zoom in our Oct 19th class.

About the lesson   The lesson should teach historical thinking skill(s). Specific content of lesson is up to you.

  1. This lesson should be delivered as if we were your class.
  2. Your peers will serve as participant observers noting lesson content, nature of the student task, lesson delivery and student workflow.
  3. Feel free to design a flipped lesson in advance and let the class know of your plans and required viewing.
  4. If you have a significant amount of reading required, send it to us in advance.

Students should do a blog post that supports the delivery of the lesson. It will largely be an update of the post done for today’s class that preview the lesson. Be sure it has a different title and featured image. Good for the portfolio

Blog post due 10/16. Think of your audience as another teacher who might want to borrow this lesson and use. Do they have all the resources and explanation they need?

It can include

  1. good title and featured image
  2. target audience and setting – what class and how might this be used?
  3. content – what will be studied? Why is it interesting or important?
  4. process – what will you do – what will students do?
  5. resources for lessons – what do you plan to provide the students?
  6. Delivery considerations – how do you plan to deliver this remotely?