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  • Sorry I was late in posting this, my first child was born last week :) !!

    For my project, I wanted to involve my students in actively creating something using the technological mediums we have explored in this course, and was really interested in having the students create their own wiki site. I felt that a student created wiki would be best if the topic was broad and multi-faceted so students could come at it from a multitude of angles and find facets that personally interested them. With these criteria in mind and trying to elaborate on one of the topics studied in this course, Alaskan Native culture as part of an Alaska Studies course seemed a great subject for this project. The goal was for the students to create their own wiki site exploring Alaska Native culture, with the site organized by groups: Athabaskan, Tlingit/Haida, Aleut/Alutiqq, Yupik, and Inuqiaq. Students were each asked to make pages on three separate facets of the above groups, and comment on other student pages. The final product would be an exploration of Alaskan Native culture that while not designed to be comprehensive, would explore elements of it in depth. My goal was for students to create a project they had ownership in, would be proud of, and work collaboratively to create.

    After doing this, I realized the wiki assignment could be a great tool for making Alaskan Natives a theme throughout the whole course. In later units, students are asked to return to the wiki project to continue to develop it. First in making a page, which explores a facet of how the Russian period or American territory period affected Alaskan Native culture and communities. Then later, making a page on recent issues affecting Alaskan Natives. The result is that the wiki site becomes an ongoing exploration of Alaskan Native culture. As the class moves through more recent chronological periods, the wiki is an instrument to have students analyze how changes have affected Alaskan Native communities.

    Primary sources are used originally to provide images for their wiki pages. Students are given the websites to Alaskan museums and state wide digital collections of AK Native artifacts and traditional art. In the later parts of the wiki project, primary sources are used to scaffold their thinking on how AK Native communities were transformed by Western influence. There are activities in which students analyze primary sources such as Russian Orthodox Church baptism records, journals from Russian American Company officials, newspaper articles from the territorial period, AK Native accounts, meetings between legislatures and AK Native leaders, and letters to the territorial governor. Then the wiki page is a culminating activity, in which they develop a page exploring a topic raised through the analysis of the primary sources.
  • I actually already did my lesson, so now have to adapt it to the rubric. I was finishing a quarter on Western Movement that looked at the Trial of Tears, Lewis and Clark, Manifest Destiny, Native American groups, and much more. I wanted to incorporate some of the readings from Callaway’s book to bring in Native American primary sources. I started the lesson by reviewing what the students knew about the Plains Indians and then showed them an image on Lone Dog’s Winter Count. We looked at the different images, tried to figure out what the story behind some of them might be, and then looked for the explanation of the drawings in Callaway’s book. After that I handed out each student their own reading from the book and students completed a document analysis form from the NARA website. They then created a drawing and a paragraph summary to share with the class and we created our own “winter count” of the story of the Plains Indian. We spent a lot of time discussing the varied interactions and responses that different Native Americans had to the whites.
  • Below is what I put together and taught last semester (knowing that the spring would be a rather hectic time) in my AP US History class.

    For my project, I built on a few primary sources I have used off and on to create a post-hole unit within a unit on slavery. My two content objectives were: 1) Students will be able to thoroughly define American slavery in terms of Hereditary, Race-Based, Chattel Slavery and 2) Students will be able to evaluate the mechanisms used to maintain the system of Antebellum slavery. My overarching goal was to help students understand how the violence of slavery was less significant that the legal & social definition of slaves as property in maintaining the system. To do this I put together a set of primary sources to walk students through the analysis and secondary sources to finalize it. The project began with various charts & graphs I scanned from the controversial book Time on the Cross that looked at slavery using a comparative approach, highlighting the more extreme deprivation of slavery in the Caribbean. Students then looked at excerpts from the Virginia Slave Codes (taken from online sources) to understand how Africans were systematically turned into slaves, from people into property. Next students read excerpts from and discussed in a group several slave narratives that presented a broad range of treatment experienced by slaves. Finally students read excerpts from Walter Johnson's Soul By Soul and Eugene Genovese's Roll Jordan, Roll that presented the "chattel principle" and paternalism, respectively, were the means by which Americans enslaved an entire people. In addition to a graded discussion and a short essay response on a test, students also wrote a term paper putting together this analysis.
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