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Making Civics Real Workshop 5: Patriotism & Foreign Policy  
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Workshop 5

Workshop Session
Lesson Plan
Teacher Perspectives
Student Perspectives
Essential Readings
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Lesson Plan: Teaching the Lesson: Scheduling and Adaptations

Scheduling and Adaptations

Alice Chandler pursued this lesson over a three-day period and was able to take advantage of block scheduling. She covered two activities per day, alternating between whole-class discussions and committee work. Time was the biggest challenge, however. In hindsight, she felt that students would have had a better opportunity to bring all elements of the lesson to closure if they had had more time, perhaps by spending five days on the lesson. Other teachers using this lesson should take into consideration that Ellington students often are in performances outside of school, a practice that cuts into the academic schedule significantly at different times of the year, and often makes it difficult for them to complete homework assignments.

In terms of adapting the lesson for students of different ages or with varied abilities, note that this class includes several special education students, who are able to work from their own strengths due of the nature of the lesson. Committee assignments provide built-in opportunities to draw on students’ different intelligences, as defined by Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory (see Essential Readings). Alice Chandler stresses the need for teachers to find out about their students's particular skills and interests before using a lesson like this, so that they can connect new ideas with prior learning experiences and interests. She also points out that this lesson was taught almost at the end of the semester, so she had had ample time to learn about individual students.

Other ways in which the lesson might be adapted include the following:

  • Determine what students like to listen to on the radio, watch on television, or choose to see in plays as a key for figuring out how to approach the assignment.
  • Have all committees pursue the same assignment.
  • Prepare younger students with worksheets rather than readings.
  • Separate the consideration of patriotism from that of foreign policy.
  • Provide fewer terms and/or be more specific about the materials students can draw from for their selections.

Overview, Goals, and Planning    |     Activity 1
Activity 2     |     Activity 3     |     Activity 4     |     Activity 5     |     Scheduling and Adaptations


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