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Connecting Students to the World

Social Studies Teaching is Interdisciplinary and Connects Students to the World Around Them. To access the artifacts, click the links embedded into the title of each section.

Leaf Pattern Design

For our "Crisis of Industrial Capitalism" unit exploring the interwar period in the United States, I chose to frame this time period through an economic lens. This is the first lesson of the unit, and we begin by exploring the economic cycle before getting some context about WWI, imperialism, and how the end of the war and its effects on Europe will set up the United States as an economic world power. By focusing in on the economic processes that dictate expansion and contraction, students have that as a foundation for understanding how people interact with a changing economy throughout the 1920s and into the Depression. Additionally, having a grasp on the sheer devastation Europe faced -- economically, politically, and socially -- in the aftermath of WWI helps students to see how the US gained so much power in such a short amount of time. 

Leaf Pattern Design

Essay writing, especially for early high school students, is often a daunting task. To introduce students to this new skill, they practiced writing longer texts by crafting an essay using excerpts from the Tao Te Ching. Due to the nature of the Tao Te Ching's subject matter, students were able to practice their writing skills on a topic that was meaningful to them: themselves.  Because the Tao encourages objectivity, observation, and balance, I thought it was a great way to try and get students to slow down, consider who they are, and try to organize their thoughts into a constructive form. Not only were students working on that skill using information gathered/interpreted from primary sources, they were also really trying to sit with the themes and apply them to their own lives. That demonstrates one of the more wonderful things it means to be one in the world, which is the recognition of our connections with one another and the environment we share.  

Leaf Pattern Design

In teaching World War II in U.S. History, the perspective is heavily focused on the United States' role in the conflict. While it is important to understand the American perspective in the war, the conflict was a global one. Although students studied WWII the year before as a part of their world history curriculum, I still notice that some students were struggling to understand the conflict outside of the context of the United States and how it should inform our understanding of it. While I did not have time to dedicate a full lesson on the global perspectives of WWII, I created an extra credit assignment for students to complete that explores the deeper implications of the war and its effects on soldiers and civilians across the world. In doing so, students gained a deeper understanding of the consequences of global war, even in countries that did not experience fighting within their boarders. 

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