Friday, February 25, 2005

Inspiration strikes!

Here's another past entry, from the night I came up with inspiration for my Religion unit on the Reformation.

February 3, 2005
After pondering this for a couple of days, I’ve thought of a general plan for my unit on the Reformation, which will probably turn into my big Unit for Seminar. Here’s how it’ll go: The whole unit will be based on the Inquiry (HOTS) method learned in my social studies methods class. Students will be given a question: What do you feel were the most important factors leading up to the Protestant Reformation, and what effect did the Reformation have on the Catholic church, and the Christian community as a whole? What impacts does the Reformation have on your faith life today?

I realize that these are 3 questions, and inquiry is only supposed to have one overarching question, but I don’t see any other way to do it, so that my assessment can fully replace an objective test. What is my assessment, you say?

So the kids get this question at the beginning of the unit. They are instructed to bring note cards to each class. Each class will focus on a different aspect of the Reformation, and involve multiple forms of communication (STANDARD!). I may give a lecture, or assign a reading, or engage the students in a SAC lesson, or something else. After each class, they will either answer a specific question on their note card, or they will write a hypothesis about the overarching question, based on evidence gleaned from that class.

By the end of the unit, students will have about 5 paragraph length questions answered, and will be ready to compile their evidence into a coherent answer, which they will present in one of three ways: an informative or persuasive essay, a power point presentation to the class, or an artistically designed poster. Each option would have a separate rubric (tons of work for me), but would answer the same question as listed above.

Good points: Totally MY unit, not a book unit. Engages multiple learning styles (STANDARD) and multiple forms of communication. Varied assessment practices (STANDARD). Probably more engaging and real to the kids than reading out of the book and memorizing facts.

Bad points: Hannah may prefer to have standardized objective tests. Maybe we could have one in addition? It’ll be tons of work. I’ll need to start now. I’m depending on my pastor to give me lots of references, because I’m not altogether sure where I’ll find them on my own.

I’m so excited. I need to make sure to ask Hannah about this tomorrow. Now for bedtime.

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