Showing posts from February, 2016

Down with the Sickness

For many people, diseases and history are not two topics that go together; diseases are a scientific topic while history is, you know, the study of dead people. But if you examine the human experience throughout the centuries, you see that diseases have affected societies in a variety of ways. Since many of these historical diseases have been eradicated or cured with vaccines, the social effects of have been forgotten. But now we are seeing a reemergence of these diseases for a variety of reasons. Because of this connection, my sophomore students investigated disees and their effects as part of their project based learning of the Industrial Revolution. Unlike prior projects, this knowledge was not kept within the confines of the classroom; the final projects were donated to Valley Children’s Hospital in hopes of spreading awareness about historical diseases.

The project was launched in November with a PearDeck where students viewed of several news reports of recent outbreaks:


WWI Trenches in the Classroom

By far one of my favorite historical simulations to do is the trench warfare simulation for WWI. Initially, the thought of allowing students to turn the classroom into a war zone made me hesitant to do the simulation, but I finally took a deep breath in 2014 and decided to try it out.*

I began the class period with the following presentation to have some order to the madness.

From my first experiences, I highly recommend that you go over the rules and expectations BEFORE the trench construction begins. With all of the student excitement and noise, it is difficult to get their attention, especially if they begin hiding in the trenches; I would divide up the classroom and allow construction and then it was herding cats to get everyone to refocus for more direction. The main rules I have is that when the lights are on nothing is thrown, but when the lights go off and the war begins then its fair game. As I said, explain everything THEN allow construction to begin.
Even though the student…