Friday, October 5, 2012

Will the Real Fred Flintstone Please Stand Up?

Sometimes with the flip I feel I can over emphasize technology. Don't get me wrong I love utilizing technology in the classroom. I feel the more students access various technology platforms on a daily basis the better. Sometimes however, its nice to take a minute and go "low tech." This week we did some "low tech" yet "high impact" activities. The Flipped Classroom allows me the time to do this kind of stuff, sometimes I have to remember that when I'm preaching the gospel of the flip- its not about videos or technology- its about having time to reach my students and let them explore the material in a meaningful way- technology assisted or not!

The students recently watched a lecture on Cave Painting that went along with their study of CroMagnon man. I thought it would be fun to try it first hand. Students had to "crawl into the cave" which was dark inside and leave something to "symbolize they were here." It was very interesting all day not knowing what it was going to turn out it is:

The "cave"

"Inside the Cave" (it was darker when students entered):

Our finished results: 

In addition to cave painting this week we watched an episode of The Flintstones where students categorized things into show into "Old Stoneage" or "New Stoneage" (ie things like: written language, cooking food, axe, fire, wheels, etc).  I love the kids realizing how much of The Flintstones is historically inaccurate ("Hey there were no dinosaurs at the same time as man"). Its a fun way to get them to think outside the box.

We also studied the "Naciremas." If anyone has done that exercise themselves in a Sociology class it was a great way to introduce the kids to historical empathy and cultural awareness. They loved it. Basically its a fake anthropological study of a "unique culture" that does "weird crazy things." Its written in such a way that the students always tell me it must be an ancient culture from far away. The great part is the reveal when they learn the culture is actually our own! Its a great way to get them to open their minds to other cultures instead of just saying their "weird." It also is a great example of the "historical bias" we go over at the beginning of the year, students realize they need to examine ancient accounts rather than take them at face value, since its all about how something is described. 

Finally they got their first essential question today and are starting in class projects next week. Overall I'm really happy with how this week went, hopefully the long weekend will be a re-energizer and not a momentum loser! 

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