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Appropriate for grades 8-12.
This lesson is designed to give students experience in gathering data on an issue, get a feeling for the emotional climate during a stressful time, and to stimulate critical thinking. It is a great device for an inquiry lesson on SENSITIVE BUT IMPORTANT ISSUES.
This will further students' knowledge of specific issues from many different points of view through personal contact with those directly involved. It will further develop data gathering skills by giving them experience in developing a questionnaire, interviewing, collecting and evaluating data and presenting findings on that data.
Students will be able to:
1. Interview at least ten people who were over the age of 15 during the occurrence of the issue/event you are studying.
2. Write a questionnaire to gather data on the attitudes, feeling, and/or experiences of the interviewee during the specified era.
1. Film, video or other balanced or unbiased presentation of facts about the issue/event.
2. Develop and give a questionnaire of a minimum of five questions to at least ten people who were at least 15 years old during the specified era.
3. Report the result of the questionnaire to the class and debrief with the teacher.
A short film covering the issue/event to be studied.
TYING IT ALL TOGETHER:
This is a rough outline of one of the best activities I have ever used and it could be used to cover almost any topic or subject that involves issues. It is a great way to get students involved in their own work and it also promotes community involvement. It is easy to modify this activity to suit your class needs.
1. This lesson must come after the presentation of unbiased or an equal combination of biased information on the topic. It is better to have as little input from the instructor as possible to avoid undue prejudgment by the student.
2. The assignment should be made on a Friday and due on a Monday or, at the latest, Tuesday. The assignment is as follows:
You are to make up a set of five questions about (a topic of your choice e.g. some topic you are covering in class) and interview at least 10 people over the age of 15 during the specified era.
They should be a cross section of people and identified by age, sex, their role (businesses person, soldier, housewife, protester, etc.) during the time specified. Less than five questions or less than 10 interviews will result in no credit. You are to keep notes on the interview in whatever way you wish. The notes will be turned in and you will be required to report to the class on the interviews.
Everyone who completes the assignment will receive a minimum of a "c+."
Anyone who does not complete the assignment will receive a "0."
3. Student questions should be answered about the assignment but as briefly as possible since this is an inquiry assignment.
4. Students will be asked to report on their interviews in an objective manner, reporting only questions, responses and description of the respondee.
5. Students should be asked some or all of the following after everyone has completed their reports:
a. What was the emotional state of the respondee?
b. How did these people and their responses make you feel?
c. What can you conclude from the collective responses?
6. Depending on the issue/event, some student responses may be similar to the following:
They got really quiet!"
"They got really angry!"
"They talked forever, like they had it pent-up inside."
"It was really serious."
"They were sad about how people were treated."
7. Then the teacher should ask open-ended questions such as:
"So why do you think they reacted the way they did?"
"Why haven't you heard adults talk about this issue/event before?"
"Why did people who had little direct involvement with the issue/event react the way they did?"
8. Help students sum up their conclusions about the issue/event and have them write a short thought-reaction paper.
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