On Friday, our class participated in a mystery Skype call. Essentially, we started a Skype call with someone from an undetermined location and attempted to find her location by asking a series of yes or no questions. We started with geographic questions like; Do you live on the East Coast? Does the state you live in border the Gulf of Mexico? Once we found her location, we listened to a short, yet incredibly interesting lesson on the WW2 museum where she was. We were then allowed to ask questions about the history of the museum. It was a unanimously liked experience among the entire class we are planning to participate in another mystery Skype call soon.
On Thursday and Friday, our class did an exercise where a ‘king/queen’ was chosen by lottery and (s)he appointed two advisers and two tax collectors to play as our parliament.Then, every student was given a small cup of candy to represent the amount of money they possessed. The students who were not part of our parliament were forced to give up their candy to their class’ ‘king’. This exercise helped us fully understand why the American colonists wanted to be free of the English rule. It put us in a real life situation where the frustration of the colonies and the privileges of the English nobility were actually experienced first hand by our class.
Today, our class started with Mrs. Selck reading a cliche break up letter from someone that she had supposedly found on the ground. The letter itself was amusing to listen to and incredibly engaging. After she had finished reading the letter it was revealed to us that the author was not a student but as she put it, “From America to England”. This letter made the Declaration of Independence into a tangible form, relating it to something that the average eighth grader would find relevant.
From 1st period after, the entire class did a small discussion on the United Stated Government shutdown, answering questions on exactly what it is and how is it important. This topic will be discussed further tomorrow.
This course is an exploration of the United States from colonization through World War I. Through understanding the heritage of the United States, students will be able to connect past events to current issues in our country. This course will focus on the history of the United States, but will also explore, the Constitution of the United States. Special attention will be placed upon research, using technology, in both individual and group settings and various projects.
This course builds upon the historical foundation for Constitutional Democracy laid in the previous two years, establishing the United States in a world historical context, and eventually as a primary player on the world stage in the 20th Century. The story of the United States is brought to modern times at the high school level.