Lesson Study Reflection

 

The Lesson Study assignment was useful in the development of  a potential lesson plan.  My lesson study was about the reasons the American colonies were able to defeat the British Army in the American Revolution.  I was going to do this by having a series of “tug-of-war” games with different caveats thrown in to represent different factors in the American Revolution.  Through this the students will be able to gain knowledge of how the American Revolution in a more concrete way.

I had some concerns about the idea and wanted to come up with ways to modify it to make it better.  There were some concerns about the separating of the kids between “bigger kids” and “smaller kids”.  And it’s true, no matter how you try to split up the teams, you have to have a team that will win easily for the simulation to work.  I have thought about other ways to simulate this possibly by having the kids create some kind of replication but I haven’t thought of a good replacement yet.  Another concern was about the participation of the White team (France).  While it would be very easy to have me and my CT participate in the instruction and take over the role as the French, I do think it’s important to note the French’s role in the simulation and the fact that they were closely following the war.  I’m just not sure how to fully incorporate that yet.

 

Overall, I thought it was a good experience.  I got some good advice for my own lesson and got good ideas from my partners.    It seems we all have the goal to make learning more interactive, engaging, more fun, and more meaningful.

5 Replies to “Lesson Study Reflection”

  1. Have you considered doing more of a board game/roll the dice kind of thing? Like you have to score the highest number to win, and the British colonies will always have a multiplier of 3 (or something like that). I think that the one important thing that no one mentioned in class is the potential for injury you’re assuming with a tug-of-war game. What if the big kids really injure the littler ones? Maybe if you tweaked the activity to a less physical one you’d have better luck. Anyway, just a suggestion!

    1. Potential for injury is a good point – perhaps the P.E. teacher could be brought in to help keep an eye on things?

      The key point of the activity as I understood it was to demonstrate the essential role that France’s support played in helping the colonies secede. Since we tend to think of it entirely as a settlers-versus-Britain affair, I think that’s very valuable. Other games could certainly work, but the nice thing about tug-of-war is that it’s so physical and non-abstract! (And theoretically riggable by the teacher, unlike die rolls.)

  2. One other problem that could arise from the Tug-of-War type lesson is that the kids who are on the losing side could really become discouraged, especially if they discover that they were put on the colonies team based on the fact that they are physically weaker than their other classmates. One way you could get around this problem would be to equally distribute students, but give the colonies massive disadvantages each round (can only use one hand, every other student cannot touch the rope, etc.) but even with that, Heather brings up a good point, with any physical activity you have a chance of students getting hurt, and that can bring up a lot of problems.

  3. I appreciate the suggestions. I agree that I don’t want to upset or belittle anyone by putting them on the Colonial team. Maybe instead I could distribute the kids more equally based on their perceived ability but put more people on the British side. I don’t know, I’m still trying to think of ways to tweak this a bit. As for potential injuries, I feel as if there are ways we could make the activity more safe. We will have to adults supervising and as Arim (I hope I’m spelling your name correctly) stated, we could talk to a PE teacher and ask him if there are any ways to make it more safe for the students.

    However, I’ve been trying to think of a way to do this with a non-physical activity but still be engaging at the same time. I feel like with dice, only a few kids will actually be engaged. Maybe some type of board game like Stratego (but obviously modified to fit the lesson plan) would be more effective.

    Thanks for the feedback everyone.

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