Today I explained the origins of ISIS to ninth graders because I’m a wizard and that’s what I do.
I had my students get into groups, and then I gave each group a series of cause and effect statements about ISIS’ genesis in Iraq. These statements had been cut up and shuffled, so each group had to figure out how to piece them together- matching cause to effect- and how to sort them chronologically.
It’s definitely a challenging task, so it was awesome to watch them tackle it. Students were on their feet, laying out the cause and effect statements all over the tables, talking to each other about what they were seeing. Last year, I lectured this lesson, but doing it this way worked way better for the students I have now. It was engaging and collaborative, and I’m feeling good about it.
I ended class by showing them the map of ISIS territory in 2014 so they could see what happened after ISIS came into being. There’s an editorial from that year that I’m having them read (because Mrs. T is teaching them how to write those at the moment) for homework; it’s about potential global responses to ISIS, so then we can get into what the actual global responses have been since it was written.
The Principal called an assembly during Block 3, which cut into my badass lesson, but it was about school safety, so it was very important. I wish we didn’t have to talk about what we do to prevent mass shootings, or what we do if our preventative measures fail, but we do.