What can we learn about Native American history through artistic expression? What can we learn about ourselves?

As winter break looms before us, the students enter class smiling, chatting, excited; but also stressed, overwhelmed and frantic. The class has completed their writing final, and now they await the summative final which is still a week away. What can I do to make this last week meaningful and engaging for the students without increasing their tumultuous feelings about impending finals?

As a precursor to planning my final week of instruction, yesterday I interacted with two online texts that helped guide me with instruction.  The first, I listened to while walking my dog Onyx,  A Cult of Pedagogy podcast by Jennifer Gonzalez titled “What to do on Lame-duck School Days.”  She offers many suggestions that might work at some point in my teaching, but each was too far a departure from where I’ve been with the students this year.  The second text was a post on Twitter from Teachthought:

 

Both of these online interactions put me in a position this morning of wanting to create a continued, inspiring experience for the students that will simultaneously utilize skills they will need for the summative final (creative and critical thinking). Here’s what I came up with:

What can we learn about Native American history through artistic expression? What can we learn about ourselves?

I’ve embedded the interactive slide show that the students will use as a guide through multiple activities that require creative and critical thinking combined with self examinations.  Unfortunately, you cannot see the directions because they are in the speaker notes. You can make a copy of the Slides here.  I should also note that it was my TA who shared the beautifully made program Injunuity with me via a text on Saturday!

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