Year 9 students at TH School in Vietnam learned through the Community unit at the beginning of the school year, using the Big Idea ‘a shared sense of belonging occurs when people are able to negotiate and appreciate their complex and often messy differences’.
The students were given a map template of England and Ireland. Then they used all the research that they had gathered over the entire unit to show the messy relationship between the two countries. They used pins and note cards to show watershed moments in history and used a brief description along with SWOT analysis to show what each event did with regards to the Big Idea. They also worked on their map making skills by added a compass rose, a title, and a key to the map. Here are some pictures:
Subsequently, students learned through the Interpretation unit using the Big Idea ‘only a very few things are true for all people’. Nick Bernhard (Humanities teacher) adapted the original tasks in the unit from looking at oil sands to nuclear energy (as long as the Learning Goals for the unit are met, it’s okay to adapt the learning activities!) to better suit the needs and interests of his students.
Geography Task 5 in this unit called for students to do a debate in class but the speaking level of the students is such that this would have been very difficult, so students made cards with pictures and cited evidence from the articles that were read. The students were put on the affirmative or negative team and asked to make cards to argue their side, plus be ready to counter the arguments of the other side with cards made already. This got students to think about the issue from multiple perspectives in order to properly counter an argument, meeting the International Learning Goals as well as the Geography Learning Goals.
After the cards were completed, each team took turns stating a point (using their card as a prompt) and the other team got one minute to look through their cards and then presented their counter-argument. Students then placed their card on the board. Each team took turns going first. When all the cards were up, each argument was judged and awarded points. Luckily it was a tie which made all of the students super excited. Lastly, the cards were cited and put up on a board outside the classroom, using a string to demonstrate the flow of the argument.