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Formative Assessment

Activity 1: Formative Assessment

Printable Student View

Reflect back on the person you chose to showcase from the community.

Create a report that addresses:

  • the qualities of good citizenship of your person
  • their contributions to the community
  • why their actions deserve recognition

Your report should provide evidence that indicates that you understand good citizenship and the ways citizens can contribute to the common good in our community.

Scoring Guide

Skills and Best Practices

Activity 1: Skills and Best Practices

Interviewing

Interviewing skills are a critical component of learning history through oral history. Developing these skills in the early grades will be extremely useful to students as they study history and begin to use the community as a resource. Although this activity uses interviewing for a different purpose, the skills are the same.

The strategies discussed on this web site can be adapted for both purposes:http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/lessons/oralhist/ohguide.html

Before students are asked to go out into the community, they should review the information for:

  • Preparing for the interview
  • Conducting the interview
  • After the interview

Role Playing

It is clear that role-playing simulations can be very effective in helping participants gain a richer understanding of multiple perspectives and of the “codependent arising” of interdependent activity. By engaging in well-defined role-playing games participants seem to move beyond both of these common assumptions: the simplistic assumption of a “right/wrong” dichotomy in complex social problems, and the strong relativist position of “anybody’s opinion is as good as anyone else’s.” They come to see also that logical reasoning and factual support do not always win the day, that pathos and ethos also play an important part in decision-making and problem-solving.

Within the framework of the game, participants have the opportunity to exercise creativity and imagination and to be playful in exploring possibilities. Yet there are consequences within the game world, which scaffolds activity and keeps it from becoming random meandering.

As this quote indicates, role-playing and simulations are extremely effective in providing students with a richer understanding and multiple perspectives of a given situation. In addition, the introduction to this site goes on to point out that the connection between role-play and writing is one that is well researched. The use of role-play improves student writing in the social studies classroom.

This site, http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/currents/spring02/syverson.html, provides information on:

  • The key components of a role-play situation
  • Computer enhancements for role-play situations
  • Outstanding scenarios for role-play situations and for summative assessments

Connections to Literature

The alignment of curriculum, instruction, and assessment is critical to school improvement. Teachers need to see that what they teach is related to other content areas and that the standards are interrelated. This site, http://edstandards.org/Standards.html, is one of many that provides this link to content standards in other content areas.

Activity 3

Activity 3

Essential Question

Why is public service important in a democracy?

Background

To be responsible members of their communities, citizens can volunteer their services to help improve their communities. Citizens can offer their knowledge and talents to different local organizations or committees. Participation in town meetings, public hearings, and community projects are important for community improvement and for finding out the problems that need to be solved.


Cub Scout Troop picks up litter

Suggested Topics for Community Service 
Internet Resources

Instructional Strategies

Strategy 1

Community Service

Problems don’t get solved without people. Who are the people in your community who volunteer their services and participate in community improvement?

Create a class mural depicting public service/community service in your community.

 

Strategy 2

Using Problem Solving to Find a Solution to a Community Problem

As students identify a problem/issue and explore solutions have them “keep notes” through the following steps:

  • Have students work in collaborative groups to brainstorm issues of concern to them and their community. Have students come to consensus on the most important issue.
  • Have students talk about this issue and possible solutions.
  • Have them use the Internet to research possible solutions to this issue, especially if they are struggling to come up with plausible solutions.
  • Have them use their interviewing skills to interview family and community members about their ideas for a possible solution to this issue.
  • Have students fill in the Best Solution and Why Chart using their notes.

Activity 2

Activity 2

Essential Question

Why is it important that every eligible citizen exercise the right to vote?

Background

Many people today think voting is the most important right Americans have. There are many places in the world where people do not have the right to vote. By voting, people can make sure that their opinion is shared with community leaders. If you are a citizen of the United States when you turn eighteen, you will also have the right to vote in local, state, and national elections. Voting may not be new to you, though—if you have helped to choose officers for a club or school government, you have already exercised your right to vote!

Instructional Strategies

Strategy 1

On-line Web Site

  • Direct students to the web site: How Does Government Affect Me? Have students navigate through the section “Inside the Voting Booth.”
  • Using this site, talk about the importance of voting. Talk about the importance of each and every vote in the electoral process.
  • Pull up the results of elections that were decided by one. There is a section of dates that, when “clicked on”, allow students to explore the power of one vote.

Check for Understanding

Printable Student View
  • Why is voting so important?
  • What are some reasons for voting?

Scoring Guide

 

Strategy 2

Active Involvement in the Political Process

  • Have students do research on one or two issues that will be important in the next local election.
  • Show them how to use newspapers, magazines, campaign literature, and web pages to gather information about these issues.
  • Have students take a position of one of these issues and create a leaflet that clearly shows this position.
  • Have students share their leaflet with their parents and discuss the importance of voting in getting their views represented in the next election.

Activity 1

Activity 1

Essential Question

What are the characteristics of a good citizen?

Background

Honesty is the basic theme of good citizenship. A person must be honest with others, and with himself or herself, in order to be a good citizen.

Compassion is the emotion of caring for people and for other living things. Compassion gives a person an emotional bond with his or her world. Respect is directed toward inanimate things or ideas as well as toward people. For example, people should have respect for laws. Responsibilityincludes both private and personal responsibility. Responsibility is about action. Finally, the theme of courage is important to good citizenship. Courage enables people to do the right thing even when it’s unpopular, difficult, or dangerous.

 

 

Instructional Strategies

Strategy 1

What is a good citizen?

Review the qualities of good citizenship with the students.

  • Honesty
  • Compassion
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Courage

Have students brainstorm about the different people within the community who are representative of these qualities.

Have them interview these people to find out more about what these people have done to show each of these qualities.

Create a showcase of community people using pictures or drawings to represent the people and their accomplishments.

 

Strategy 2

Role Play

Have students think again about people they know who represent the qualities of honesty, compassion, respect, responsibility, and courage. They can use the people they interviewed as examples of these qualities.

Engage in role play to help students see how these qualities are important in real-life situations.

Talk through each of the following situations with the students. Suggest some ways that they could set up their role play situation. Let students chose which scenarios they will role play. Provide adequate time for preparing the role play and then have them present their skit to the class.

Printable Student View

  1. For last night’s homework, you were supposed to read a story and be ready to tell it to the class today in your own words. You didn’t read a story last night because you were having too much fun playing video games. You figured you could remember an old story. When your teacher calls on you, you are suddenly nervous and can’t remember any stories at all. What should you do?
  2. A teenage neighbor is responsible for you while your parents go to a movie. Your neighbor wears a hearing aid because he is partially deaf. Tonight, he tells you, his hearing aid isn’t working very well. The telephone rings, but your neighbor doesn’t hear it, so your parents’ answering machine takes a message. When your neighbor isn’t watching, you play the message back. The message is from your parents. They had forgotten to tell your neighbor your bedtime. You realize you can get away with staying up later. When your parents find out, they’ll blame your neighbor for not getting the message. What thoughts go through your head? What do you do?
  3. You’re at a school picnic and there’s a long line for buying cold drinks. You’re really thirsty. You see a friend of yours way ahead of you in line. Should you ask your friend if you can cut in line? How is the idea of respect for others connected to this situation? How do others in line feel when somebody cuts in line?
  4. You borrow a great book from your classroom. It’s a lot of fun to read. By accident, you spill chocolate milk on the book. It’s a mess. You take the book out of your book bag as soon as you get to your classroom. The teacher is busy. You could just take the book back to the shelf and leave it there. What should you do? Why?
  5. You are in a dodge-ball game. One kid is throwing the ball too hard. A couple of kids have already quit the game, but most don’t want to because they think quitting would make them seem weak. What do you do? If you say something, what do you say and to whom do you say it?
 

Check for Understanding

Printable Student View
  • With a partner: Discuss each of the scenarios to identify the quality of good citizenship important to each one (honesty, compassion, respect, responsibility, courage, etc.).
  • Each partner should select one of the scenarios and describe to your partner what you would have done in that situation.

Strategy 3

Connections to Literature

  1. Lead a classroom discussion on citizenship based on literature.
  2. Read aloud a book, or portion of a book, about citizenship. Then use these additional resources to help identify books having characters who demonstrate the traits of good citizenship.
  3. Discuss the characters in the books to find out how they exhibit the traits of good citizenship.
  4. Have the students use the chart to record their information.

Printable Student View

Character From the Book

How does the character model the traits of a good citizen?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strategy 4

Application to Real Life

Honesty, compassion, and respect are also important as we interact with our friends. For example, ask the students what they would do in the following situations:

Printable Student View

  1. Imagine that a friend is going to do a comedy act in a talent contest. He tells you the jokes from the act. The jokes are awful. Do you tell him? If so, how do you say it?
  2. You find out that a friend had no time to study for a test because she had to help around the house when her mother was sick. So your friend cheats on the test. What do you say to her? What do you do? Do you tell the teacher?
  3. Imagine that you live near an elderly couple. Two or three of your friends are visiting you and they see the two old people. Your friends start making fun of the elderly people behind their backs. What, if anything, do you say to your friends? What might happen if your neighbors overhear what is going on?

Check for Understanding

  • Why would it take courage and a sense of responsibility to do the “right thing” in each of the situations discussed in class (comedy act, cheating, teasing elderly neighbor)?

Formative Assessment

Activity 3: Formative Assessment

Printable Student View

  1. Which of the following is a harmful result of protectionism?
    1. protection of workers’ jobs
    2. protection of “infant industries”
    3. protection of inefficient industries
    4. protection of national security
  2. Which of these trade organizations appeared first in the global marketplace?
    1. the European Union
    2. the World Trade Organization
    3. the Mercosur Agreement
    4. the Nafta Agreement
  3. Which of the following is NOT a negative effect of trade barriers?
    1. supply is limited
    2. increased prices for foreign goods
    3. trade wars
    4. demand increases for domestic goods
  4. Create a scenario in which protecting or failing to protect a particular domestic industry could impact national security.

Scoring Guide

Skills and Best Practices

Activity 3: Skills and Best Practices

Computer Assisted Instruction

The use of computers to support classroom instruction has expanded rapidly. However, the research on the effectiveness of the use of computers in terms of student achievement has not kept pace. This research piece by Kathleen Cotton for SIRS (School Improvement Research Series) provides some useful research data.

http://www.nwrel.org/scpd/sirs/5/cu10.html

The data suggests that the use of computers supports student achievement in the following areas:

  • Learning Rate
  • Retention of Learning
  • Positive Attitude Toward Instruction
  • Improved Attendance
  • Time on Task
  • Cooperation/Collaboration

It is interesting to note that the research also supports the goals of No Child Left Behind in that the use of computers is more effective with:

  • Economically disadvantaged students
  • Lower cognitive outcomes
  • Handicapped learners

Students in the research studies also supported the use of computers. They said computers:

  • Are infinitely patient
  • Never get tired
  • Never get frustrated or angry
  • Allow students to work privately
  • Never forget to correct or praise
  • Are fun and entertaining
  • Individualize learning
  • Are self-paced
  • Do not embarrass students who make mistakes
  • Make it possible to experiment with different options
  • Give immediate feedback
  • Are impartial to race or ethnicity
  • Are great motivators
  • Give students a sense of control over learning
  • Teach in small increments

Perhaps, teachers should review this list as they think about their own teaching practices.

Group Research Strategies

Often teachers assume that students know how to do effective research using the resources in their media center. However, it might be helpful to spend some time with your students reviewing the tools of research and how to use them to complete your research assignments.

http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca

Including well-designed library-based assignments in your courses can help build students’ research and thinking skills. Make the tools of research familiar to your students and the inquiry process more engaging by using the following tips on how to:

  • Vary the Type of Assignments
  • Teach Research Strategies
  • Avoid Common Problems
  • Consult with Media Specialists

Formative Assessment

Activity 2: Formative Assessment

Printable Student View

  1. Trading for a good is a smart idea:
    1. When it takes less resources than it does to produce it
    2. Only when it takes no resources from your country to do so
    3. When it takes more resources than it does to produce it
    4. Only when you can’t make it yourself
  2. The total amount of goods a nation can produce is only limited by:
    1. the amount of goods its citizens want
    2. its government
    3. the amount of money its citizens have
    4. the amount of resources its citizens have
  3. It makes sense for the citizens of a nation to trade for a good than to produce the good if the opportunity cost of producing it is:
    1. high
    2. low
    3. higher than the cost of trading
    4. lower than the cost of trading
  4. When individuals, groups, or nations can specialize in what they can make at a lesser cost and then trade with others, both production and consumption should increase. Give examples that support this thinking. Be specific and detailed and when possible, cite examples of trade discussed in class.

Scoring Guide

Skills and Best Practices

Activity 2: Skills and Best Practices

Simulations

The research on the use of simulations and role-play in education is extensive. For example:

  • Significant behavioral changes could be accomplished via group discussion and role-play sessions then via lecture-style information sessions. (Lewin, 1951)
  • Students who get the most out of simulations are those who are able to maintain a delicate balance between play and reality. (Jaques, 1992)

Often simulations are not used in the classroom because the effort to set them up is time consuming, putting demands on both students and teachers. In addition, care must be taken to assure that the objectives of the activity are not lost in the fun of playing the game.

http://www-jime.open.ac.uk/98/11/vincent-98-11-03.html

Simulations and role-plays are demanding not only on the students, but also on the teacher. Brookfield (1990) notes that considerable effort is required in setting up a simulation scenario, ensuring that students are briefed on their roles, and in de-briefing them afterwards to ensure that they take the intended points away from the simulation experience. This last point is particularly important, since simulations require the teacher to relinquish control of the learning environment, and thus allow the process to move in possibly unexpected directions. Brookfield (1990) mentions this as another reason why simulations are demanding on teachers; they require that teachers, who are used to being in control of the learning environment, step back and “let things run”. Teachers also need to be ready to handle unexpected situations that may arise during the course of a simulation.

Application to Real Life

The purpose of studying social studies is to make applications to real life. History is the story of our civilizations and has many lessons to offer. We need to make applications of these lessons as we encounter similar problems today.

Unfortunately, many social studies teachers are reluctant to take this last step in the teaching of a unit. They forget that virtually every school system across the country includes this application to real life as one of their goals:

http://www.marlboro.k12.nj.us/district/curriculum.asp

SOCIAL STUDIES

The social studies program reflects our changing society in its relation to the world. It is intended that through a variety of learning experiences and in linking the past to the present, students will develop an appreciation of the continuity of the human experience. Our goal is also to help students realize that each individual has a contribution to make to society.

The social studies program includes history, geography, government and civics, economics, anthropology, sociology, and psychology with subject matter drawn from the humanities – religion, literature and the arts. They are integrated in a systematic and interrelated way to explain the past and current human condition as well as future possibilities.

Formative Assessment

Activity 1: Formative Assessment

Printable Student View

  1. What is the result of specialization and trade?
    1. production and consumption decrease
    2. production and consumption increase
    3. the nations lose trade shares in the market
    4. nations receive few benefits from trade
  2. International trade is served by:
    1. specialization and economic interdependence
    2. tariffs and trade barriers
    3. currency exchange and exchange rates
    4. unlimited wants and resources
  3. Based upon your understanding of international trade, why should a nation pursue trading with other countries? Explain the potential benefits and costs from entering into trade with other countries.

     

  4. A nation decides what to produce by determining its absolute and comparative advantages. How does a nation determine its comparative advantage?

Scoring Guide