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: Explorations in Archeology and History 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:

  • How do you define archeology? How would you engage students in a study of the ancient past?
  • How do visual representations of content and processes help students learn and remember them?
  • How can hands-on learning be used effectively with students in the middle-grade years?
  • What are some teaching strategies to help students see the relevance of archeology to their own lives?

Watch the Video
As you watch "Explorations in Archeology and History," take notes on Ms. Larsen's instructional strategies, particularly the way she helps students understand how archeologists and historians study the past. 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 did Ms. Larsen link students' prior knowledge to new learning?
  • Which of her strategies most effectively met the goals of this lesson?
  • How did Ms. Larsen stimulate and maintain students' interest?
  • Consider the ways in which this class is different from yours. How would you introduce your students to past civilizations?

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

Student work hanging in the classroom.
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Relating Personal History to History of Civilizations: 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 4 minutes into the video. Watch for about 6 minutes.

Ms. Larsen refers to the recent "identity cube" project, which helped her students recognize parallels between their own family histories and the history of past civilizations. In a class discussion, Ms. Larsen incorporates vocabulary on a "word wall," and rolls back strips of paper posted on the bulletin board to reveal artifacts.

  • How does the word wall help students learn?
  • What content and skills do students learn that can support their study of world civilizations throughout the year?
  • How does Ms. Larsen ensure that all students can succeed in this lesson?
Ms. Larsen and her students talking.
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Sharing Artifacts of Special Importance: 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 19 minutes into the video. Watch for about 6 minutes.

Each student brought in an heirloom, an artifact or object to pass on to future generations. Students share their heirlooms, along with the descriptions and personal value of the heirlooms.

  • Why was it important for Ms. Larsen to offer students options in terms of what they can bring for the assignment?
  • What evidence do you see that students are engaged in the lesson?
  • How does this part of the lesson deepen students' understanding of the content?

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