Today I taught one of the World lessons I rewrote yesterday. Ultimately my goal is to explain what’s currently going on in Syria, but to get there I need my students to know a little regional history, and they come in as blank slates.
I set up my tables so there were six groups (trick: if you have more chairs than students in a class, and you want small and even groups, remove the unnecessary chairs and watch like a hawk so no one rearranges the remaining ones… I still had two try). Each group had to learn about a particular event:
- The Iranian Revolution
- The Iran-Iraq War
- The Persian Gulf War
- The Kurdish Independence Movement
- The Iraq War
- The Syrian Civil War
Each group presented what they’d learned, and I drew the connections between each thing. Or, at least, I did it, at first; then they started figuring it out themselves, which is awesome.
Next class I’ll build on what they learned and tackle the rise of ISIS.
My day ended with an amusing ninth grade house meeting. I was amused, at least. At one point, The Vice Principal was trying to schedule some upcoming stuff, and forgot we had a teacher workshop day, so I said, “We all block those out of our minds, too.” She laughed. Other admins in the room… not so much.