This week I had two great experiences. The first was a discussion of our "critical reading" article. Students read an article about stolen artifacts and we had an in class discussion surrounding the idea of returning objects to their home country, preservation of artifacts, private owner rights..etc. IT WAS GREAT! Sure it took a few minutes to warm up, but once we got going to students had a lot to say. I got to hear a lot of opinions and spend an entire class period taking an idea and fleshing it out from start to finish- I never had time to do something like this prior to the flip. This was a topic related to Ancient History (which is my core subject that I teach) but tied to the modern world, it was something interesting but not something that we would have had the time to spend on before.
The second thing we did was an in-class archaeological dig. Students were broken into teams. At each table I set up a "mini dig site." A tray with brown sugar, corn meal, or flour filled with artifacts, and an iPad. Students had to map the dig site, divide it up, and excavate and record the artifacts they found in the site. They also had to record "soil conditions." They used the iPad to take pictures of their artifacts and ultimately put them into a presentation. I put all kinds of things in the trays, spoons, paper clips, necklaces, cupcake wrappers. Teams then had to determine what they thought the site was and ultimately present their findings and information to the class in a Powerpoint presentation.
Here are some pictures from our team dig: