Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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LINK: Social Studies in Action Home Image of a middle school student.
LINK: The Amistad Case Home
LINK: About the Class
Watching the video
LINK: Connecting to Your Teaching
LINK: Standards
LINK: Resources

Watching the Video

Image of a notebook with the following text displayed: Reflect: As you reflect on these questions, write down your responses or discuss them in a group.

Before You Watch
Respond to the following questions:

  • What are the best ways you've found to make history come alive for your students?
  • What are the benefits and challenges of using role playing or re-enactments to teach history?
  • How do you approach controversial issues with your students?

Watch the Video
As you watch "The Amistad Case," take notes on Mr. Fisher's instructional strategies, particularly how he deals with the content of the case. Write down what you find interesting, surprising, or especially important about the teaching and learning in this lesson.


Reflecting on the Video
Review your notes, then respond to the following questions:

  • What struck you about the classroom climate, background, preparation, strategies, and materials used in this lesson?
  • How does the Amistad case contribute to the high level of student interest and engagement in this lesson?

Looking Closer
Let's take a second look at Mr. Fisher's class to focus on specific teaching strategies. Use the video images below to locate where to begin viewing.

Image of Mr. Fisher standing at a chalk board in his classroom.
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Using a Mini-Lecture: Video Segment
Go to this segment in the video by matching the image (to the left) on your video screen. You'll find this segment approximately 3 minutes into the video. Watch for about 5 minutes.

At the beginning of the lesson, Mr. Fisher sets the stage by giving a brief lecture about the Middle Passage and the slaves' journey to Cuba.

  • What does the mini-lecture reveal about how students have prepared for the mock trial?
  • How do Mr. Fisher's comments and questions contribute to successful group work by the students?
  • How do his descriptions of what to expect in the trial help students prepare for the re-enactment?
  • How does Mr. Fisher engage students' attention during the mini-lecture?
Image of Mr. Fisher talking to students.
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Successful Group Work: Video Segment
Go to this segment in the video by matching the image (to the left) on your video screen. You'll find this segment approximately 11 minutes into the video. Watch for about 4 minutes.

As students prepare for the trial, they are assigned to teams representing the judges, plaintiffs, and defendants and are sent to their own areas to work.

  • Why do you think the students take this work so seriously?
  • How does Mr. Fisher gauge the effectiveness of group work?

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