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  • An ARS helps me organize the sources I want to use in my lesson.  I think incorporating different types of sources (artwork, photos, poems, songs, letters, etc.) helps increase the engagement and motivation of the students in my classroom because it presents many different opportunities for students to connect with the topic we are investigating.  Using different types of sources, helps recreate a specific time in history.  It challenges students to put themselves in that time period and think about responses they might have had to different events.  I believe doing this promotes critical thinking because we are asking students to analyze information from a variety of sources and form an opinion/stance on a topic.  

  • I like the idea of an ARS as a lesson planning tool, or at least the form we used as the tool.  I'm not sure that I'd use the form itself with my students, though I did like Marty's idea about using it as scaffolding for note taking.  I think using the set of images to begin classes as an anticipatory set throughout a unit would be an effective way to integrate the art into my normal class.  I think a well chosen ARS should instigate some critical thoughts to be discussed as we go through a unit.  I'm envisioning my class reading their textbook (which I feel is quite important given the amount of non-fiction on the SBA/HSGQE), and on the following morning coming into class with a painting and a prompt on the board.  They would respond through writing for a given time, and then discuss their thoughts with their table.

    I also like the idea of using a slideshow with the images as a recap, or introduction to a lesson.  I'm thinking a day on images with the stories, which I think are most crucial to help them make the connections, followed by a day with some text.

  • I think that the ARS format for citation is easy.  It would be easy for the younger kids to learn to do.  I have always used pictures for writing prompts but I recently started requiring the students to write 3 observations, 3 inferences and 3 predictions.

  • I liked using the ARS to organize the final project we worked on today.  It helped us organize and structure the topic at hand, making the Power Point presentation easy to flesh out.  I think my students will do well with this structure, as well.  A writing assignment with the starting point of images will be especially beneficial to them as second language learners.  It seems to me that the process of searching for images to express their thoughts or ideas will promote their curiosity and will hopefully lead them to asking questions. And when they inevitably find inconsistencies in their research, they will need to learn to evaluate and not believe everything they are told.

  • I believe it starts with the essential questions.  When kids are thinking critically they are asking themselves the essential questions.  

    I would probably ask my students to write their own essential questions regarding a topic and then have a discussion about the questions that arise.  It would be a good time to touch on perspective and biases.  Then I would probably model the use of the ARS as a graphic organizer and guide them through their own versions.

    Wikipedia says, "Critical thinking is reflective reasoning about beliefs and actions.  It is a way of deciding whether a claim is always true, sometimes true, partly true, or false."  I think this really speaks to what we have been talking about as a class.  History is obviously filled with "always true, sometimes true, partly true, or false."  By teaching our students to be critical thinkers, we give them the tools to sift through these things when it comes to historical events, current events, and personal events.  

  • I am a special education teacher, and most of my time with students is spent on reading, writing and math skills. I'll use the ARS to develop concepts and vocabulary used in specific readings that are supplemental to my reading curriculum. My project in this class consisted of finding pictures, music, and other items related to the timber industry. I'll use these to build the concept of Tall Tale heroes as "Bigger than Life." The photos of older days of logging the old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest will help me to convey the magnitude of the trees. And, Paul Bunyan was bigger than those trees, bigger than life.

    I think that I can play off of this, and focus on another tall tale figure and the cowboys next, Pecos Bill.

  • Using the ARS as a starting point before the full-blown research papers we expect from high school students seems like a great idea.  By directing them to find photos instead of text, we can spend time focusing on citing reliable sources.  This will give students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with research/citation vocabulary, without the daunting task of a long written product looming.

    One challenge may simply be doing the work twice.  I envision myself creating a template of a power point page that includes all of the same cells as the ARS organizer.  This will allow students to collect the images and be presentation ready.  I would have them present their context, source info, etc. on the power point presentation so that could be evaluated and discussed as a class.

  • This class has helped me think about teaching children to begin looking at photos and making captions to make a comment for the intent of the artist/photographer.  Searching for propaganda or ways to stir the viewer in a certain direction might stir some critical thinking skills.  They can learn to cite sources too.

  • Especially with students who are not strong in English, I can walk them through an analysis of the photo much better than, say, literature.  Additionally, because they have not experienced historical 'failure' with images (like many of them have with text), it is a new way to introduce content that does not have some of the barriers of traditional methods.

    Photos lend themselves well to critical thinking like compare/contrast, what if..., what does it remind you of..., and other good sentence starters.  These could either be village-specific (What if this was in your village?) or more general (What if this weapon was used by the Allies in WWI?), or even simply comparing between two pictures (What is different about these pictures? Why?)  Any of these could become a Writing Across the Curriculum assignment, or a Rally-Robin, Round-Robin, or All-Write-Round-Robin.

  • I think part of how you can use the ARS is to use the actual form to do some teaching about how to reference sources.

    Also, many of our students have not had the opportunity to see a whole lot outside of Alaska, or even this region, so showing them paintings, photos, music, and videos to broaden their horizons, and even give them a greater appreciation & understanding for these different media & art forms.

    It can be used to show the students that learning does always have to come out of a textbook. There are other ways to learn & understand.

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