For the past week, I have been reflecting on past lessons to see how they align to the Common Core Standards for History/Social Studies. I have thoroughly enjoyed setting aside time to look at how the lessons that I have used over the past two years can be adapted to fit the new standards. So far, little adaptation has been needed but with today’s lesson, I am unsure. While I believe that students learned much from this activity about Latin American Revolutions, I don’t think it fits neatly within the standard below. Please let me know your thoughts!
To begin the unit students had created their own Latin American country that was ruled by Spain. Previously, after a discussion about nationalism, students created a symbol for their fictional country (high school students seem to love having things named after them). Then, after learning about other Latin American Revolutions, it was time for their countries to fight for their freedom.
This is the standard that I hope is addressed:
RH.11-12.2. Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
I debated having students write a news report of an existing revolution, but I felt that they would be too focused on getting specific battles right rather than the reasons behind the revolution (not seeing the forest for the trees). My goal for them was to learn about all of the Latin American Revolutions and see the commonalities. Then, based upon what they learned create, a fictionalized history of their country’s revolution.
I love when students really get into an assignment, and while not every student did, these papers were very fun to read. My biggest regret for this activity is that I collected these on notebook paper and did not save any as examples. Next year, I will have students maintain a blog to share with one another (and to continue to develop their writing).
Side Question: After reexamining this lesson, I’ve noticed that based upon the instruction some students completed this as a synthesis activity while others completed it as an application activity. How do I move this activity into the synthesis zone?For more on my Connecting Lessons to Common Core series click the links below: Connecting Lessons to Common Core: Nationalistic Travel Brochures Connecting Lessons to Common Core: Imperialism and Star Wars Connecting Lessons to Common Core: Extra Extra! Primary Documents to News Articles! Connecting Lessons to Common Core: Bill and Ted’s Excellent Assignment Connecting Lessons to Common Core: Personal Journals during the French Revolution Connecting Lessons to Common Core: Your Own Personal Latin American Revolution Connecting Lessons to Common Core: Enlightenment – Declaration of Independence Connecting Lessons to Common Core: A Missed Opportunity (Political Philosophies ~ Conservative, Liberal, Radical)