This week Anne and I thought it might be interesting to co-teach a unit on Remembrance Day. Our thought was that it might be more interesting and useful to create a lesson that we could teach together that incorporated both Social Studies and Arts Ed. Although the lesson we prepared could have been taught as two separate lessons and then taught back to back we found that the more we discussed the more we each had strong ideas to contribute to each lesson and that it might work well if we just combined to create a solid two part cross-curricular team teaching lesson that engaged the students. It was an interesting experience to plan and get ready for the lesson together. I think I am really lucky that Anne and I work so well together– I’m not sure this kind of planning or teaching would be possible without the right partner. As Anne and I created the lessons they really came together well. I am feeling confident that they are engaging, informative and well crafted.
This was a really interesting way to teach this lesson. As I mentioned before I think we were successful in delivering a diverse content, with multiple subject outcomes in a single cohesive thematic lesson. During the team teaching Anne and I taught small sections on our own and worked well together when we needed to. We both took turns taking the lead on the lesson and the students were engaged the whole way through.
I feel like this lesson was really successful. The students were engaged for the almost the entire two hours. Lots of students took away some deeper understanding of Remembrance Day. I think that many students were surprised to learn about Indigenous veterans. Some realized that Indigenous people fought in the World Wars but none of them realized that they were all volunteers were many of the soldiers who were settlers or descendants of settlers were conscripted. I think seeing pictures of my Grandfather and Great-grandfather as well as a picture from Treaty 4 days of surviving Indigenous veterans made a really abstract concept more concrete for them. They seemed to engage well with the poem and their tableaus were very thoughtful.
For Next Week:
Next week I am teaching an Arts Ed. lesson again. Anne and I are going to try and remain thematic. Both of our lessons are going to centre around the Northern Lights and Indigenous myths about the Northern Lights. I am excited to teach a visual art lesson about colour theory and using painting.
What went Well- I think the lesson over all was a huge success. The introduction of the Indigenous Poppy was really successful. The students think that they should produce wearable poppies that look like the painting. The recording of the students reading the poem and the video using the recording and tableau photos turned out really well.
What didn’t work- I think that everything worked fairly well. If I am splitting hairs- I would try and get a little better sound for the recording. Have the students gather around the mic instead of stay in their desks. I would also have given myself a little more time to put the final product together. It went very well considering that I put it together in the 15 minutes during recess.
What I would change for next time- I think that next time I would just turn this into maybe a mini-unit where we could have more time make a great recording of the poem. We could give the students more time to create tableaus and use props- we could do some inquiry research into veterans. I think there is lots of potential here and an interesting way to teach a couple weeks in November.