Part II: Gold, Greed and Government (continued)
|The Culminating Activity is also optional and may be used as a final assignment.
SDAIE and other special situations:
All students benefit from clear instructions that are repeated often. Use poster paper or make overhead transparencies to direct students' attention to focus questions and other specific assignments. Most of the work involves cooperative learning strategies. The primary sources generally are short segments, so that as students work together they can help one another to understand the material. Teachers must keep this in mind when arranging the groups, so that each group will have at least one strong reader to help others.
Students generally learn to work together more cohesively if each one is given a specific task, and all are expected to be active participants. There are several specific tasks (roles); in a group of six, each one will have a role; in a smaller group, a student might have two roles. Roles include the following:
Recorder: Acts as scribe or secretary, keeping notes.
Timekeeper: Keeps track of the time and gives the group a "five-minute warning," makes sure that the group finishes in time to tidy up the work area, and assumes responsibility for facilitating cleanup, but all are expected to help.
Materials manager: Obtains supplies that the group needs for an activity, and returns reusable materials to the central depository when they are no longer needed.
Reporter: Presents the findings of the group, or acts as "stage manager" for a group presentation.
Arbitrator/Mediator: Keeps the group working together smoothly; tries to prevent arguments from starting. If they do, works with facilitator to settle them peacefully.
If a task requires other roles, the teacher or group should define them. An online researcher or librarian/reference consultant might be needed to do a quick check for a piece of information, for instance.
When students learn subject matter through cooperative-learning groups, they also develop useful skills for working with others. If a group is confused about the task or the content, the facilitator (no other student) may ask the teacher for help, but only after they have first attempted to solve the problem. During the course of the year, students should have an opportunity to assume each of the roles so that they can develop the relevant skills.
Concepts and Vocabulary Work:
Some of the concepts listed in these lessons may have been taught and discussed in previous lessons. If they have not, the teacher may wish to take time to teach about them. A strategy from California Concepts Collection is included in the Appendix. The teacher also will know what vocabulary words to introduce to the students. Some suggestions for vocabulary are included with each lesson, but teachers are encouraged to use others that are better suited for their students.
Part II, Overview