Thursday, October 22, 2009

Voting Matters! service learning lesson plan

Service Learning Project Title: Voting Matters!

Area of Service: Civic Responsibility

Grade Level: 11th-12th Grade

Subject Area: U.S. History/Government

Unit Description:

Students will do this service learning project as part of a unit on movements for voting rights. After their overview lessons on African American voting rights, the women's suffrage movement, and Native American voting rights they will choose a topic such as key figures in the women's suffrage movement, key figures in the African American voting rights movement, Supreme Court decisions' significance for each movement, the history of Amendments with regards to each movement, etc., or a topic of their choice that they are particularly interested in.

Students will work together in small groups of 3. They will then research that topic extensively and put together summaries, key points, photographs or other primary documents, and other interactive materials for an online voting rights museum that will be used by another class as a resource for learning about voting rights. They will also be encouraged to interview people in their community that have unique perspectives on their topic, such as former Civil Rights activists or people who lived through the time. The online museum will include each topic that students chose, and will include information on how to find your local leaders and contact them. In addition, the materials that each group gathers will be used to create short lessons that the students will present via Skype to a group of younger students (grades 5-8) in another school.

The goal is to, through this project, connect younger and older students by having the older students teach the importance of voting to the other student, showcasing that these rights are not to be taken for granted: they were fought for and won by individuals united to make change. As such, both groups of students will understand why participation of everyday individuals in political and civic spheres is important. The desired end result is a comprehensive website that can be used by students later on as a learning resource.
Standards met by the project:
Next Generation Sunshine State Standards
  • SS.912.C.2.5: Conduct a service project to further the public good.
  • SS.912.C.2.2: Evaluate the importance of political participation and civic participation.
  • SS.912.C.2.8: Analyze the impact of citizen participation as a means of achieving political and social change.
  • SS.912.C.2.16: Analyze trends in voter turnout.
U.S. History:
  • SS.912.A.1.4: Analyze how images, symbols, objects, cartoons, graphs, charts, maps, and artwork may be used to interpret the significance of time periods and events from the past.
  • SS.912.A.1.6: Use case studies to explore social, political, legal, and economic relationships in history.
  • SS.912.A.2.4: Distinguish the freedoms guaranteed to African Americans and other groups with the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution.
  • SS.912.A.5.7: Examine the freedom movements that advocated civil rights for African Americans, Latinos, Asians, and women.
NETS for Students
  1. Creativity and Innovation
    • Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students:
      -apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
      -create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
  2. Communication and Collaboration
    • Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:
      -interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
      -communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
      -contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.
  3. Research and Information Fluency
    • Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. Students:
      -plan strategies to guide inquiry.
      -locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.

Technologies/Web applications applied to the unit with description of how they are used:
  • Students will be using the internet to find resources and conduct research for their topic. In doing so, they will be evaluating the validity of internet sources.

  • Students will be using PC and/or Mac computers to create an original website, their “online voting rights museum.” They will be responsible for creating the page that corresponds to their topic, and for handing everything (images, media, etc) in on a disk for the teacher to upload and organize into one master website. Students may have multiple pages, and may use whichever website editing program they wish to create the site. As such, they will also use some fort of website design software.

  • Students will be using Skype to present their lessons to a group of younger students between the grades of 5-8.

  • Students are welcome to use whatever appropriate online resources/websites they find to create their own original lesson materials.
Assessment: Students will be assessed using three criteria: their contribution to the overall website, their lesson and its presentation, and group participation. A rubric, presented when the project is first explained, will be used for grading.

For example, a group getting full credit for the website portion will create well-designed webpages that clearly state and thoroughly explain their topic, contain accurate information, present information in an interesting or compelling way, have no spelling errors, contain appropriate multimedia, an attractive layout, be easy to navigate, include sources, and can easily answer questions regarding content and the website itself.

To get full credit for the lesson component, a group's lesson and presentation would have to make clear why the lesson is important and relevant, members would show full understanding of the topic being presented, are able to answer all or almost all questions that are asked about the topic, are enthusiastic, stay on topic, and speak/present well.

The last criteria is individual, where each student's contribution to the group will be measured. Each member of the group is to describe what each member contributed, how they organized their work, what issues arose and how they were solves or not solved. The teacher will take those evaluations and then assess what each student did, the quality of work each student contributed and whether it represents their best effort.

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