Our Social Studies teachers are piloting Discovery Education Social Studies Techbook this year and in just the first few days of school I heard about a Virtual Field Trip opportunity. Discovery Education would be hosting a tour of the Library of Congress. I was not sure of what more would be going on, but I thought that even just getting together with the 7th Grade Social Studies classes in the school library that day would be a great opportunity to celebrate the US Constitution and create a memorable event for the students. Plus they were advertising a Twitter Chat and I can’t resist a Twitter Chat!
I contacted the LMC Director right away to see if she would want to collaborate (of course she would) and then we pitched it to the teachers. New Chromebooks, new learning management system, new online curriculum; these guys were up for anything. The excitement kept building as we got closer and our plans for the day started to take shape.
A few days before our event we actually took some time to get together to plan instead of just shouting our excitement through the hallways. Discovery Education had posted some resources for teachers so we looked at those first. We knew we would not have a lot of time for extra activities once we knew how long the “Live” Virtual Field trip would be. We came up with a couple of questions we wanted the students to answer and we decided on the right Kagan activities to accompany the activity.
We created Padlets for each question and put all of our resources into Schoology as a lesson and shared it with the teachers. Finally, we created a visual presentation to go along with the lesson. The teachers then shared our lessons in their Schoology courses. We were all ready to go.
On Friday, September 16th, students came straight to the LMC instead of going to their classroom. They brought their Chromebooks and something to write with. Our Constitution enthusiast even dressed up in a colonial style wig and outfit. This was definitely about to be an event our students will remember.
— Laura Scola (@LauraScola) September 16, 2016
Students sat four to a table and began by discussing the purpose of the Federal Government, the US Constitution, and Libraries. Discovery Education had provided a handout that we asked students to complete as they watched the Virtual Field Trip to the Library of Congress. We quickly decided to ditch that in favor of pausing the video and discussing the content with our students to make the lesson more engaging and easier to follow. After the video, we used mini-Constitution pages our LMC Director had made for each student as talking chips for another Kagan activity.
We were thrilled to see all the learning happening and we were even getting requests from other grade levels to host classes during our off periods. The more the merrier. We are looking forward to more exciting opportunities like this.
CONSTITUTION. – Page one of the Constitution of the United States of America, 1787.. Fine Art. Britannica ImageQuest. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 25 May 2016.
http://quest.eb.com/search/140_1642480/1/140_1642480/cite. Accessed 4 Oct 2016.
All other images are my own.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.