This is day 1 in a series of lessons leading to the culmination of scholars actually creating and running a colonial market. Today is all about exploration and accessing prior knowledge so that scholars can create a clear plan for the market.
Scholars begin by writing down all words and phrases that they associate with one or both of the words: colonial market. Here are scholars jotting down words. The purpose of this is to access prior knowledge and also to help scholars build understanding by understanding the parts of the phrase.
Scholars have 1 minute to jot down all words associated with colonial market. Then, they rally robin (take turns sharing) with the friend sitting next to them. Finally, we do a rally robin show down where I choose 2 students to come to the front and take turns sharing the words that they associate with the phrase colonial market. Here is an example of one scholars' list.
During the Teaching Strategy, I show scholars two videos:
1. Intro to colonial market is a slide show of a colonial market that takes place once a year in Chestertown, Maryland. I visited the market this year and took pictures to provide scholars with an experience of seeing a colonial market.
2. Colonial dancing at market is a video of colonists dancing during the market. I wanted to help scholars see that the market was more than just a place of commerce, it was a place of socializing as well.
As scholars watch the videos, they consider the following questions:
1. Describe what you see and feel. Imagine what it might be like to visit a colonial market such as this.
2. Describe the importance of the colonial market during the 1700's.
3. How do you think the colonial market influenced the lives of colonists?
Scholars watch the videos once, then they have 2 minutes to reflect on the questions above. Then, we watch the video one last time and reflect on the questions for 1 minute. Finally, scholars turn and share their thoughts with their table groups, then we share out as a whole class. I choose 2 friends from my cup and 2 volunteers.
During the Guided Practice, scholars review the TASK DESCRIPTION for the Colonial Market in their small groups. I give them 5 minutes to read it and discuss. Then, I take as many questions as scholars might have. Next, they brainstorm different things that they might find or want to make at a colonial market. During the brainstorm session, they consider the following questions:
1. What can I make on my own? (or with minimal adult supervision)
2. What materials do I have at home or at school that I can use?
3. How is my product important to the life of a colonial person?
Scholars have 7 minutes to brainstorm. Then, each table group shares one item that they brainstormed and we post on a class brainstorm list. We continue to share (group by group) until all ideas are spent. Here is our brainstormed list.
The reason we spend this time brainstorming is so that scholars can practically think about what they can make, in-bulk, inexpensively for a colonial market. Also, scholars may hear strong ideas from others and if we don't take the time to share, they may not have access to as many ideas.
During the Independent Practice, scholars commit to making something for the colonial market project. They complete the first part of the Colonial Market Proposal.
The entire project plan is due on Thursday, but we will be working on this all week long. The idea here is that I am teaching them to really think through what they are planning to create and making sure that their ideas are feasible and realistic. We want to empower our students to be successful, and part of that is making sure that we're thinking through our plans.