Wednesday, April 13, 2016

History ideas ?????? A Very Deep Dig into the Story

Excellent ideas found by MrE ~

“Most historians stop thinking too soon.”


"We have to dig a little deeper!"

 A key tenet of the Teach Like a Pirate philosophy is to look at the world around us and always ask, “How can I use this/that?”

Let’s talk about the Academy Awards. Millions of people tune in each year to see who will win the Oscars in various categories and it is a major pop culture event.

 So…how can we use this to engage middle school students?

First of all, it is an event centered on multiple categories of nominees vying against each other to be honored. How can we take material from our class and break into competitive categories and nominees? Let’s choose History class as an example.

An Academy Awards show for books/chapters read over the course of the year! Have the students help to develop the categories and the nominees.

Lessons you could sell tickets for
The top category may be Book/Chapter of the Year.

Best Historical Figure of the Chapter/Unit

Best Male Character in the Chapter/Unit

Best Female Character in the Chapter/Unit

Best Supporting Character in the Chapter/Unit


Best Villain in the Chapter/Unit


Best Heroic or Courageous Act in the Chapter/Unit


Best Setting in the Chapter/Unit


Best Scene in the Chapter/Unit


Best Single Line in the Chapter/Unit

Best Quote in the Chapter/Unit

Best Plot Twist in the Chapter/Unit

The possibilities are endless!


But now let’s stop swimming and put a snorkel on so we can go deeper. We can layer in hooks.


Social media always explodes during these shows. Can students create tweets, vines, Instagram posts, memes, Snap chat, Facebook?

Uh oh! We went pretty deep and oxygen is running low. It’s time to head back up. By the way, my example centered on books but this can be adapted to almost any subject area.

I think there are some amazing possibilities for ending the year with a bang with this type of themed lesson design. More importantly, I wanted to show you how you can take a simple observation like, “Hey, lots of people enjoy those award shows,” and then really dive down deep and come up with creative ways to engage students.


Let’s make school amazing!

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