Reflection: Real World Applications "Lifting the Veil" with Historical Narratives - Section 3: Building Knowledge


The Common Core requires students to be able to fluidly assess the credibility of a variety of source materials, therefore, I try to work in as many supplemental media opportunities as I can during instruction.  As a sidebar, this also really helps to keep my visual learners' attention!  I have found that students can pretty easily discern the credibility of most YouTube sources, but often times this assessment ability doesn't transfer to written material.  After a considerable amount of time discussing why this might be with students, I think that I've figured out that students are using more visual cues (like the appearance of the person in the video, set, camera work, etc.) than more formal credibility assessments (like sources referenced, associations which may suggest bias, spelling or grammar, etc.).  Because of this, I find that discussions explicitly calling out why a source is or is not credible are crucial to developing their skills in this area.  We will use this skill throughout the year, and YouTube videos are a medium that students are already pretty confident about, making them a really nice transitional medium to practice the skill.  

In addition to pulling videos like these for credibility assessment practice, I find the videos included in this lesson and others are helpful for deepening students' connections to our content material.  Slavery is something students have learned about at length, but they really don't seem to grasp the conditions and realities of it.  The Discovery Channel videos help students see that connection, which is then furthered by the Equiano reading.  Furthermore, most of my students don't think that any kind of enslavement still happens, so drawing connections to other human rights violations (without getting too graphic with the other types of slavery in the world and in the states) allows them to view our readings as more relevant to their own lives.  Ultimately, these videos help students on a variety of levels both now and in the future!

  Assessing Credibility and Deepening Connections with Supplemental Videos
  Real World Applications: Assessing Credibility and Deepening Connections with Supplemental Videos
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"Lifting the Veil" with Historical Narratives

Unit 1: Early American Voices & Developing Reading Habits
Lesson 7 of 9

Objective: SWBAT analyze Olaudah Equiano's autobiography to determine author's purpose, effectiveness, and vocabulary use while recognizing the power of narratives to impact change.

Big Idea: How are pink slime, iPads, and slavery related? Simple. They were all brought to light by some compelling narratives which elicited change!

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african slave ship diagram
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