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Not Teaching to the Test: Creative Approaches to Student Achievment

Striving for Success: Creative Approaches to Mastering the Global History and Geography Regents Exam

Subject: Global History and Geography

Grade Level: 10-12

Materials: Students will use handouts, computers, and Internet access in order to effectively complete each task.

How it Works: Each year, tenth grade students in New York State are responsible for taking the Global History and Geography Regents Exam, which is a comprehensive test on topics covered during ninth and tenth grade Global History. In order to increase students’ knowledge of the nature of the test, creative methods of teaching allow for more in-depth study and awareness. Project-based learning allows students to think critically and make interdisciplinary connections.

Final Project/Product: Using the Internet, students will research concepts geared toward key themes for Regents thematic essays: human rights violations, imperialism, influential people of global history, and global problems in need of solutions.

Overall Value : Students will use their research as a foundation for future Regents-style thematic essays. Through completing these activities students are able to balance content-based knowledge with proper organization and writing skills.

Tips for the Teacher: Creative activities in which students play an active role in the situation allow them to better understand the content by placing themselves into the equation. These strategies limit the asking of that eternal question: “When are we ever going to need this?” because now, students are fully engrossed! They are part of history, and, part of their own learning.

Link to Grant Project:

 Objectives
Students will work in groups of 3 – 4 members to develop proposals for an upcoming episode of a National Geographic TV special entitled, "Human Rights Violations."
Students will work in groups of 2 to develop two original poems or rap songs which discuss imperialism. One poem or rap song will discuss imperialism from the point of view of the imperialist power and the other poem or rap song will discuss imperialism from the point of view of the colonized people.
Students will work in groups of 3 - 4 members to develop a segment of a "Global Times" talk show in which two important individuals in global history will be interviewed.
Students will work in groups of 3 - 4 members to create a Public Service Announcement pertaining to the causes and effects of global problems.
Websites
“United Human Rights Council”
www.unitedhumanrights.org
“Amnesty International”
www.amnesty.org
“White Man’s Burden”
http://fordham.edu/halsall/mod/Kipling.html
“Desmond Tutu quotation”
http://brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/desmondtut107531.html
“Hammurabi"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammurabi
“Queen Isabella"
http://womenshistory.about.com/cs/medrenqueens/p/p_isabella_i.htm
“Environmental Pollution”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollution
“Desertification”
http://botany.uwc.ac.za/Envfacts/facts/desertification.htm
Standards
Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in world history and examine the broad sweep of history from a variety of perspectives.
9-12
World History
Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the geography of the interdependent world in which we live - local, national, and global - including the distribution of people, places, and environments over the Earth's surface.
9-12
Geography
Day 1: HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
Objectives
Throughout history, the human rights of certain groups of people have been violated. Efforts have been made to address these violations. Imagine that you are a film producer for National Geographic. You have been asked to create a proposal for an upcoming episode entitled, “Human Rights Violations.”
Materials
Computers with Internet Access
"Human Rights Violations" handout
Human Rights Violations Rubric
Procedures
1. Working in groups of 3 – 4 members, students will develop their proposals by completing the tasks listed below. Each group will present their proposals to the class who will be serving as the “National Geographic Review Board.”
2. Determine an overall theme of the show. Some suggestions you might wish to consider include the following: A. The Armenian Genocide B. The Holocaust C. Cambodian Genocide D. Genocide in Rwanda E. Bosnian Genocide
3. Students will work together using the Internet to select photographs and primary source quotations for their proposals.
Websites to Visit:
A. “United Human Rights Council” http://unitedhumanrights.org
B. “Amnesty International” http://amnesty.org
C. “The Holocaust” http://history1900s.about.com/library/holocaust/blholocaust.htm
D. “Cambodian Genocide” http://chgs.umn.edu/Visual___Artistic_Resources/Cambodian_Genocide/cambodian_genocide.html
E. “Genocide” http://ppu.org.uk/genocide/index1p.html
F. “Bosnia 1995” http://ppu.org.uk/genocide/g_bosnia2.html
4. Within the Human Rights Violation proposal students will: A. Define the term “human rights.” B. Identify one example of a human rights violation that has occurred in a specific time and place. C. Describe the cause of this human rights violation. D. For the violation identified, discuss one specific effort that was made or is being made to deal with the violation. Each student will create a chart to organize his/her notes. (See “Human Rights Violations” handout.)
5. Each group will present their proposals to the rest of the class.
Homework
Students will grade each group’s proposal by completing the Rubric provided (Human Rights Violations Rubric).
Assessment
See Rubric.
Day 2: HISTORY: POETRY IN MOTION
Objectives
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, imperialism affected many societies throughout the world. Perspectives on imperialism differed depending on a person’s point of view. You have been selected as a feature for this month’s issue of “Imperialism Magazine.” You are asked to develop two poems or two rap songs. One poem or rap song will discuss imperialism from the point of view of the imperialist power and the other poem or rap song will discuss imperialism from the point of view of the colonized people.
Materials
Computers with Internet Access
"History: Poetry in Motion" SOAP Chart handout
History: Poetry in Motion Rubric
Procedures
1. Each pair will read “White Man’s Burden” by Rudyard Kipling. “White Man’s Burden.” http://fordham.edu/halsall/mod/Kipling.html
2. While reading, students will complete the “SOAP CHART” for “White Man’s Burden” identifying perspectives of the imperialist power.
3. Each pair will research Desmond Tutu and read the quotation listed on the following website: “Desmond Tutu quotation” http://brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/desmondtut107531.html.
4. Students will complete the “SOAP” chart for information on Desmond Tutu.
5. An additional website to visit for further information on British Imperialism is: “British Empire,” http://victorianweb.org/history/empire/Empire.html
6. Each pair will prepare their poems or rap songs.
7. Poems or rap songs will be presented to the rest of the class.
Homework
Students will grade each group’s proposal by completing the "History: Poetry in Motion" Rubric.
Assessment
See Rubric.
Day 3: WHO'S WHO IN GLOBAL HISTORY
Objectives
The beliefs and achievements of individuals have changed global history. These beliefs and achievements have had positive and negative effects on society. Imagine that many important historical figures have gotten together to discuss their influences on a segment of the “Global Times” talk show. You are asked to prepare a script for your show in which two of these important people will be interviewed. The show will be presented to the class.
Materials
Computers with Internet Access
"Who's Who in Global History" chart
Who's Who in Global History Rubric
Procedures
1. Select the 2 important individuals to be interviewed. Suggestions include the following:

You are not limited to these suggestions.

2. Determine the role of each group member:
A. Host(s) of “Global Times”
B. Important Individual #1
C. Important Individual #2
3. For each individual interviewed, students must:
A. Explain one belief or achievement of that individual.
B. Discuss the positive and / or negative effects of the individual’s belief or achievement.
4. While researching, students will complete the “Who’s Who in Global History” Chart to organize their notes.
5. A script for the show will be written.
6. Each group will present their show to the class.
Homework
Students will grade each group’s proposal by completing the Rubric provided (Who's Who in Global History Rubric).
Assessment
See Rubric.
Day 4: GLOBAL PROBLEMS NEED SOLUTIONS
Objectives
Throughout history, global problems have posed major challenges for nations and regions. You are asked to create a Public Service Announcement pertaining to the causes and effects of global problems.
Materials
Computers with Internet Access
"Global Problems Need Solutions" handout
Global Problems Need Solutions Rubric
Procedures

1. Determine the two global problems to be discussed. Suggestions include the following:

A. “Environmental Pollution” - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollution
B. “Desertification” - http://botany.uwc.ac.za/Envfacts/facts/desertification.htm
C. “Deforestation” - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deforestation
D. “Overpopulation” - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overpopulation
E. “Spread of Disease” - http://cbsnews.com/stories/2002/06/20/tech/main512920.shtml

You are not limited to these suggestions.

2. While researching, students may visit the websites above and complete the “Global Problems Need Solutions” handout.
3. For each problem, students will:
A. Describe one major cause of the global problem.
B. Discuss one effect of the global problem on a specific nation or region.
4. Each group will create a Public Service Announcement in which they discuss the causes and effects for their global problems.
5. Students will orally present their Public Service Announcements to the rest of the class.
Homework
Students will grade each group’s proposal by completing the Global Problems Need Solutions rubric.
Assessment
See Rubric.

Melissa Stepanian

ms.stepanian@yahoo.com

Bayside High School
32-24 Corporal Kennedy Street
Bayside, NY 11361

Melissa Stepanian is a Social Studies teacher at Bayside High School in Bayside, New York. Ms. Stepanian' teaches Global History and Geography 3 and 4 as well as United States History and Government 1 and 2. Melissa studied at St. John's University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in History and a minor in Adolescent Education. After studying at St. John's, she developed a passion for creating innovative lesson plans designed to assist students in mastering key social studies topics in creative manners.

Important documents for this lesson plan.

Day 1 HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS.doc
Day 2 POETRY IN MOTION.doc
Day 3 WHO'S WHO.doc
Day 4 GLOBAL PROBLEMS NEED SOLUTIONS.doc

 

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