When the students enter the room, they will find the Smartboard opened to the "I have a problem screen". Of course they're all wondering what my problem is so I advance the slides and read them my problem.
I have the students look at their face partner and discuss why the Principal listened to a boy who always gets in trouble over an awesome teacher like me. After they both get a chance to share, I let them give me some ideas. I'm looking for someone to say, "You weren't there."
I get lots of answers- "Sometimes teachers don't see everything kids do, but kids know everything", "Johnny is probably Bob's best friend so knows", but I never get the answer I want. SO, I ask the students to think about perspective and what I SAW and what Johnny SAW and finally they get it. One of my ESL students wildly raises her hand and says, "YOU WEREN'T THERE!!" I said, "But I had recess duty last week. I was outside." And she says, "But, you didn't see it." Finally, the question I always ask- "How do you know? It doesn't say that in the narrative." And she says, "You weren't there because it says, another teacher told you."
I tell the student that she is correct and that in order for the Principal to KNOW what happened, she needed to talk to someone who was there. I then advance slides and introduce the Firsthand vs Secondhand account. The next slide provides some practice in identifying Firsthand and Secondhand accounts.
Finally, I tell the students to put on their acting hats because today they are going to get to be Academy Award Winning Actors!! I hand out the role cards randomly and tell the students that when the music starts they need to find the person who has the same role as them.
There are 5 sets of role cards. You will need to make duplicate sets in order to accomodate all of your students. I have found that just because the role cards are duplicates, the role play will not be..
Once the students have their partners, they go off to practice their roles. After 5 or 10 minutes, we reconvene as a whole group to watch the magic!! Students who are watching the role play will try to guess if it shows a firsthand or secondhand account of an incident.
After all the students show off their fabulous acting skills, it is time to assign homework. For homework, students will be given a firsthand account of September 11 and will be required to rewrite the account as a secondhand account.