I think a lot of people still view school, and history classes in particular as super ineffective, useless and boring. Textbooks and movies and date memorization. In reality, education has come a long way. We focus on small-group collaboration, DOING rather than TELLING, and focusing on big themes and concepts rather than date/fact memorization. The new "big thing" is standards-based grading - meaning we ONLY grade whether they meet the standard or not - no behavior, homework, effort,
Last week we were studying the theme of Movement as we did our Europe unit, so we had a lesson about things that originated in Europe and are now seen as "American" and are important to our lives. The list included things like blue jeans, hamburgers and hot dogs, the music of the Beatles, Adele, One Direction, Led Zeppelin, etc, and principles of government like democracy and republics.
We mapped these at their origins and then the assignment was to write one page on something that came from Europe that they think is important to America today.
Here are a few funny exerpts from their papers (I did not correct their original spelling or grammar, fyi)
- France is a very "legit" place.
- Your not American if you don't at least know what a hamburger is.
- The hamburger is the ultimate sandwich it is no ordinary sandwich, it has a big slab of beef that is so good that it will tickle your tastebuds.
- Hamburgers are so jucie and meaty, and just really good and talking about this is makeing me really hungry.
- Cheeseburgers are one of the main reasons in the US for Obesity. Cheeseburgers in my opinion are amazing.
- One Diretion sings like angles.
- One Direction is probably the second best thing that has happened to American girls. Justin Bieber is probably the best thing thats happen to us.
- Adele also came from England. She writes songs that make people want to cry.
- Adele has perfect skin she has no acne.
- The Sex Pistols music is crap, I won't sugar-coat it. They sound like an infint walrus being thrown into a blender while still consious and I love them for it.
- Music has saved many lives throughout the years. Yes, it may also lead other to a more worse depression, but overall, most lives are saved from it.
- Girls wouldn't have their cute diamond butt jeans and guys wouldn't have their silly saggy jeans.
- Fences make it so you don't need to look or talk to them if you don't like them.
- With a fence you can keep the neighbors dog of your lawn and poop free.
- If your yard looks uglie you should protect and block with a fence.
- Democracy is one of the greatest things America has, and I hope we never lose it.
- Democracy made our lives so much better because we would have a king and we would have a good chans that he would be mean.
- Republics are important to our government. We need both (meaning democracy) to balance it out so we don't go crazy and start shooting.
Then I read stuff like this and realize that I couldn't pay for better entertainment. And for the most part, despite the spelling and grammar, they understood the assignment and will remember the theme of movement and globalization every time they listen to One Direction. Maybe even Democracy. :)
Then I feel better and love my kids for a few more days. Until another penis is drawn on my desks.