Tuesday, May 24, 2011

U.S. History This Week

For about a month and half, my U.S. History class has been studying the 1960s in direct instruction. On Monday, we had our final class of the 1960s that served as a culmination of the whole unit.  Each day in the unit we would focus on one of three categories: Politics, Civil Rights, and the Vietnam War.  Everything in the decade of the 1960s also culminates in the year 1968.  Everything comes to a boiling point and in the opinion of some historians and writers, America is never the same again.  A couple of weeks ago, CNN published an op-ed piece about this change (if you would like to read it go here). I had the students come having read this article and with their own op-ed paragraph written up.  To start class, we read everyone's paragraphs anonymously and the class voted on whose paragraph was the best.  The lucky student would then have their paragraph published right here on the blog.  So for your reading pleasure:

Seth's Reason why the 1960s Changed America:
The 1960s are the roots for all culture that is around today.  During that decade, people started to be their own people, and they learned it is not just O.K., but enlightening to be gay, black, female, or unique. African Americans now had rights that were brought along by the Civil Rights movement. Homosexuals felt relieved to come out of the closet, due to the era free love and happiness.  Women felt more free, thanks to Sexual Revolution, to be more open and not have to conform to normal standards.  All of the emphasis on expressing yourself was also brought along buy new music from "rebellious" bands, such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and many others who sang about love, drugs, and The Vietnam War. The War was a wake-up call to show us that we are not always the best and on-top.  If we went to 1959 to 1970, we would be tired souls, unhappy with the norms that we are forced to live.

Then the students split up into different groups to complete a "hanging timeline." Each group was in charge of a category we studied, and had one line of the timeline to put it on, except anything in 1968. Those events were put on a combined line to see how much happened in just one year. The students chose what events they wanted to put on their timeline and everyone did a really nice job.  I wish I could leave it up for everyone to come and see because it is so much better in person, but the pictures give you a bit of an idea.

 This was the best shot I could get to see the most in the whole room.  I had string hanging from all four corners. Each category had its own color: orange= politics and also served as our miscellaneous (like space and music), blue= civil rights movement, and green= Vietnam
All four strings met together in the middle with another piece of string hanging there just for 1968.  This is that string...the students were impressed by how much actually happened then.

 I liked this shot because you see the orange and green lines meeting the 1968 line and then going past it, the students needed a 1969 line and we had an extra, so this became more of a mixed line.  You can also kind of see how creative they got with this post about Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar!
 Students spaced out their events to show how there might be some holes because there was something going on in another category. This hole kind of surrounded 1964...
Which is where the Civil Rights movement starts to take off as this side shows.

We had fun listening to Beatles music and putting this together! Students involved: Anders, Tyler, Reneta, Andy, Seth, Aly, James Z., and Nick.

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