Thursday, February 9, 2012

Debriefing Colonization Simulation

That's right, it's time for the weekly social studies blog homework.  In case you're still wondering why I do this, the more a student discusses what goes on in the classroom, the better chance she'll have at retaining the information.  Furthermore, multiple choice testing can only assess so much.  One-on-one discussion truly shows understanding and comprehension.  Unfortunately, I can only have a limited number of one-on-one discussions in the classroom.  Finally, I'm trying to help you guys out. I believe it is important to keep families in the loop.  This is what we are studying in my class.

Yesterday we had the colonization simulation.  Today we started debriefing the activity.  The bellwork question was, "If you were in a group that was conquered, how did you feel?  Why?  If you were part of the conquering group, how did you feel?  Why?"  So far, I've received some really good responses.  Most students bought into yesterday's activity, and felt like it was unfair that one person could defeat seven or eight.  They thought it was unfair when their land was taken.

We looked at a couple maps of The British Empire:

British Empire Map

Then we went back to the "Reasons Explorers Explored the World" paper from Tuesday.  Class was cut short today because of the writing prompt, so we'll have to leave the rest of the debriefing until tomorrow.  To get credit for the blog homework, discuss yesterday's activity.  Adults, ask questions about what happened.  Students, be as descriptive as possible.  Explain how the desire for natural resources was the driving force behind exploration and colonization.

After you've discussed the blog, write the following sentences on a piece of scrap paper: "I read and discussed the blog with ___________________________________."  Then have that person sign on the line.  Finally, write 3 things you told them about yesterday's simulation.  (Make sure your name is on the paper as well.)

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