I do love my little history class. For the most part, they rocked their medieval/Reformation test they took on Friday, except every single person got the same question wrong. I’m thinking it’s a glitch in a critical thinking skill, since they got to check their study guides for the last ten minutes of the test:
Martin Luther Henry VIII King John I
Suleiman the Great Ferdinand II cardinals
Pretty much everyone circled Martin Luther (hello), Henry VIII (started the Church of England to get a divorce and marry Anne Boleyn), and King John I (disagreed with the pope’s choice for Archbishop of Canterbury which resulted in England being placed under interdict for five years and was a direct cause of the Magna Carta). Ferdinand II spearheaded the Spanish Inquisition, so obviously he and the Catholic church got along. I’m sure some cardinals along the way disagreed with a pope, but not the group overall. But not a single person circled Suleiman the Great (or Magnificent). Suleiman the Magnificent was possibly the greatest ruler of the Ottoman Empire, whose people were Sunni Muslim. Muslims would of course disagree with Catholicism, as they were different religions. Suleiman also ruled over Jerusalem, in the Holy Land. Not a single student put this together. Since they could use their study guides I tried to add a bit of critical thinking to the test, but keep it relatively multiple choice so I could grade it faster…and this one stumped them.
Anyway, we are moving into the Age of Exploration, covering navigational explorers and the European introduction to the Americas. They are working on a set of presentations using a tic-tac-toe project one of the other English teachers gave me. I gave them a list of potential topics and a list of project options.
- Mayan Civilization
- Incan Civilization
- Aztec Civilization
- Christopher Columbus
- Vasco de Gama
- Ferdinand Magellan
- Hernando Cortes
- Francisco Pizarro
- Marco Polo
- Ferdinand II and Isabella
- John Cabot
- Jacque Cartier, Samuel Chaplain, and Robert de la Salle
- Henry Hudson
- Pilgrims and the Mayflower
Make a collage or poster that illustrates your topic
Make a travel brochure illustrating and advertising the setting/route of your person/peoples
A powerpoint or prezi presentation teaching the class about your topic (Min. 5 minutes long)
Write three front-page news article announcing some aspect of your topic. (Min. 3 pages – 1 pg per article)
Bonus points if you format it to look like a newspaper!
PRESENT YOUR WORK ON MONDAY IN CLASS
Write a script for a 3-5 minute skit that teaches the class something about your person. Bonus points for costumes or props.
Write a 30-question test over your topic and create an answer key to go with it. (Mult. choice, fill in, essay, or combination)
Make a glossary page with at least twenty terms and definitions that go with your topic
Write three journal entries from the perspective of a person in your topic. (Min. 3 pages)
They could work on their own or in a group of up to three. If they worked on their own, they chose one of the project options to complete and present in class at the end. Everyone presents. If they chose to work in a group, they chose two options. They’re not done yet, but I’ve already seen some really cool work. My freshmen are surprisingly self-sufficient. I gave them the topic and the options and away they went. Very few have needed any hand-holding. I look forward to their presentations!