I get by with a little help from my friends: the gift of peer review

One of the "Little Rock Nine" braves a jeering crowd.
One of the “Little Rock Nine” braves a jeering crowd.

Designing my first DBQ is both exciting and intimidating. Exciting, because I love the idea of having students take ownership of their learning process, but intimidating because I know that a successful lesson requires careful planning and scaffolding. I was grateful that this assignment included a peer review process.

When I came to class last Monday, I had collected primary source documents related to the Civil Rights Movement, but I hadn’t finalized the essential questions or focus of my DBQ. As I talked to my classmates, they challenged me to think about the primary sources I had collected and to focus my question. I realized that my favorite sources were focused on sources that were written by adolescents who were the same ages of my students. I also realized that I needed to find new sources to compliment, “A Poem for My Librarian, Mrs. Long” by Nikki Giovanni and the excerpt of Bone Black by bell hooks.

Peter Pappas suggested finding the iconic photo of the Elizabeth Eckford being taunted and tormented on her way to Little Rock Central High School. While searching for the image, I was able to find an excerpt that tells the story of two teenagers who would become famous that day, Elizabeth and Hazel Bryan.

My classmates were very helpful with this process. As I have discovered in this program, my ideas are even better when I have the chance to talk about my lesson plans and receive feedback on the curriculum ideas. It helps to talk about what I want students to take away from the learning experience and then evaluate the lesson to see if my targets match my activities. Stay tuned for my final product!


Photo Source: http://www.nps.gov/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/crandall/CRvisual5.htm

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