“The Union As It Was”

This assignment showed me that there is more that can be done with Google Forms than quizzes and entry slips. It was really interesting seeing how each person in our class took a different approach to the assignment and chose topics that were interesting them. I learned a lot from my peers, which is my goal for students in my classroom.

I particularly liked the idea of created a two part Google form. In my class, we read a lot of mystery text documents and students are supposed to glean as much information as they can about the time period from that document(s). It is exciting for students to read a mystery text, but they become frustrated when they don’t understand the context for the piece (why it was written and how it relates to the time period of study) or feel like the mystery is never solved. It would be nice to provide them with a mystery text, have them answer questions about it and then provide the context (solve the mystery). I think they would have fun being detectives and trying to crack the code, if they knew they would have a solution in the end.

5 Replies to ““The Union As It Was””

  1. I like your “Detective” approach to interpreting documents. A fun way for students to use their historical thinking skills.

  2. Like Dr. Pappas, I really enjoy that “detective” aspect too. For many students, the study of history is this passive activity where they may read a textbook chapter and then answer content questions. I know many people who “hate history” because of that approach. This is a way to make studying history a far more active activity that sparks the imagination.

    I really appreciate your interpretive questions that go along with your form as well. I know our discussion in class was very interesting, and every person understood the different symbols a little differently, so I can only imagine how rich a classroom discussion based on this document could be.

  3. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but I also love the students as detectives idea you mention! Your reflection got me thinking how assigning a “mystery document” would look differently in the classroom vs. at home for homework. It could be fun to assign a mystery document (or multiple documents given to different students) in a Google Form, and then have students bring their comments back to class for a discussion the next day. You could even create a fun jigsaw activity with multiple mystery documents for the same topic!
    Thanks for sharing your form!

  4. I love your idea because I think it is such a great way to begin an organic discussion about race, and racism, and slavery without it feeling forced and the it is historically relevant and relevant to your curriculum.

  5. I really enjoyed this activity! I think analyzing political cartoons to bring up discussion in class is a great way to get students involve. I can see this work with as a small group discussion first, and then have it as a group discussion. This activity could also be used as warm up to get students going before getting into the material or unit.

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