Saturday, June 4, 2011

Using Social Networking in the Classroom: Social Studies

*Sorry, I had a hard time getting this picture to work from the Edmodo site.

I decided to integrate social networking into one of my Social Studies lessons that I teach. I decided to use Edmodo since it is a social networking site, very much like Facebook, but designed for educational use. It is a safe social networking site for students and teachers, which in my opinion, is crucial when using these tools in the classroom. I have heard of many success stories about using Edmodo in the classroom, so I thought I would give it a go. I started an Edmodo site and have been posting a few things to get started with the lesson, but I am still trying to find out how to change the name of the post to be a historical figure like they did in the examples, as well as adding a video. I added a Discovery Ed video to one of my posts by using a link.

Here is the link to the Edmodo site that I will plan to use for my Chapter 17 Lesson 4 social networking activity:

This lesson is designed to be used with Chapter 17 in my Social Studies curriculum which is Africa South of the Sahara...specifically with Lesson 4 which is called "The Road to Independence". This lesson discusses South Africa's battle to gain it's independence from the United Kingdom, as well as the freedom from apartheid. It is assumed that all of the other three lessons in this chapter would have been taught already and the students will have a bit of background on the geography, economy, government, and culture of Africa South of the Sahara.

Chapter 17 Lesson 4 (using Social Networking):

Anticipatory Set:
The teacher will ask students to discuss why we celebrate the 4th of July in our country, and what types of things they do on this day? (The discussion should ultimately lead to the fact that we celebrate this day because it was the anniversary of our independence) The teacher will discuss that South Africa has a day of celebration from when they were granted their independence from the United Kingdom. The teacher will then break the news to students that the only people who can go to recess that day are those with green eyes. The teacher will see their reaction and begin a conversation about why this isn't fair. The teacher will bring up the fact that the color of someone's eyes shouldn't determine their rights...just like someone's skin color or race shouldn't determine their ability to vote or take away their right to equal rights. The teacher will ask the students to journal how this exercise made them feel, and how they would feel is this were really the case in our country...people having certain race based on color, etc.

The teacher will discuss this lesson's vocabulary with the students using a word splash activity that includes all of the chapter's vocabulary words...this will be done before reading any of the four lessons in the chapter. Students will have previously circled all of the words on the word splash in either red, green, or being the words they don't know, yellow being words they have heard of before, and green being words they know. Students will specifically focus on the words racism, diversity, and apartheid during this lesson.

Essential Question & Objectives:
The teacher will pose the EQ to the students so that they recognize the objective of the lesson since the EQ is what they should be able to answer at the end of the lesson. Students will be able to answer the EQ, understand the meaning of apartheid and its' effects on South Africa based on the government and the non white population, and they will be able to use social networking to discuss topics related to apartheid.

EQ: 1. What factors strengthened the movement among Africans for independence?
2. How did opportunities for South African citizens to participate and
influence the political process change in the 1990's?

Guided Practice:
The teacher and students will read the lesson using a jigsaw...students will randomly be split into base groups and then they will decide who is reading each section of the lesson. Each student will read his or her category alone while the teacher circulates, and then the teacher will then move them into expert groups where they will discuss their particular section with others who read their section as well. Again, the teacher will be circulating and guiding them as they talk about what they read. Students will then report back to their base group to share the information they learned from the section they read.

Independent Practice:
Students will complete a follow up graphic organizer that involves cause and effect as well as a vocabulary study guide that helps to review the vocabulary terms for this lesson as well as the main concepts.

Social Networking:
Once we are done reading this lesson, students will be actively engaged in using the social networking site, Edmodo. They will be reading my posts on Edmodo based on the lesson we just studied, and they will be viewing a video from Discovery Education as an extension of our book. They will have assignments to complete in the form of a discussion, when they see that Nelson Mandela joined our group. Mr. Mandela will be posing a few questions about apartheid and students will need to leave their answers, as well as communicate with their peers using social networking. Their answer may require a little bit of research. A white police officer from South Africa will also be paying us a visit on Edmodo, and will clearly be showing his support of apartheid. Students will be asked to create a response for his questions as well. Students will be graded based on their fulfillment of the assignments on Edmodo, as well as their participation and interaction within our group on Edmodo.

There will be a Lesson 4 Quiz and social networking evaluation based on student responses and comments to the posted question. Students must show that they have completed the assignments via Edmodo, and they will be graded based on their work as well as interaction with other students in our group. There will also be a Chapter 17 test that includes information on all four lessons. A study guide will be provided, and the review game "I Have, Who Has" will be played.

When the Chapter is finished and test is complete, students will watch the movie "The Color of Friendship" because it deals with apartheid. During the movie, students will keep a list of the things they see and hear in the movie that they recognized from studying about apartheid in our books.

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