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ED618 Practicum Lesson Design

Candidate Name: Sarah Dennison Host Teacher Name: Jeannette Sleppy


School: Floyd Dryden Grade Level: 7th # of Students: 25
Date & Time of Lesson: Oct 23 @ 2pm Length of Lesson: (day or days) 5 class days
Topic of Lesson: Africa Content Area: Geography
Materials: Include all materials including types of technology used:
Laptops
Graphic organizer
Big map cut into 6 pieces – Butcher paper, scissors, sharpie, tape
Handout

Alaska Content Standard: (One standard for the lesson)


Geography:
A. A student should be able to make and use maps, globes, and graphs to gather, analyze, and report spatial (geographic)
information. A student who meets the content standard should: 1) use maps and globes to locate places and regions
B. A student should be able to utilize, analyze, and explain information about the human and physical features of places
and regions. A student who meets the content standard should: 2) analyze how places are formed, identified, named,
and characterized;
Cultural Standard:
E.5: Recognize the need for all people to understand the importance of learning about other cultures and appreciating
what each has to offer

Transfer Goal(s) - Unpacked Standard (Transferability)


A.1. A student can use maps to find countries and reach regional conclusions.
B.2. A student can compare countries using general characteristics.
E.5. A student can appreciate how African cultures are different than Alaskan cultures.
.

STAGE ONE: Essential Questions and Enduring Understandings (Meaning)


Enduring Understanding(s) : (1 or 2 are Essential Questions to be Considered: (As
sufficient) related to Enduring Understandings…) (1 or 2 are
Students will understand that Africa is a sufficient)
diverse continent with unique nations and What can I learn about the countries in Africa
regions. and the diversity of the continent?

STAGE ONE: STAGE TWO:


Objectives/Learning Targets (Acquisition) Assessments/Acceptable Evidence Of Learning
Knowledge and Skills: What knowledge and Sources of Evidence: Formative, Summative,
skills related to content and/or content and/or Performance?
language should students know and be able to
do by the end of the lesson?
A student will be able to research the
countries in Africa.
A student will be able to organize their Students will create a graphic organizer for
findings using a graphic organizer. the countries they are assigned.
Findings will be collected on a physical Students will combine information on one map
map. as we go through the topics researched.
An assignment will be given to students to Worksheet activity will be given that involves
guide them in processing the map as a info from the map as a whole.
whole.

STAGE THREE: Learning for Understanding: Instructional Activities, Products, and Strategies
Pre-Requisites: What is the prior knowledge/learning students have to have before starting this
lesson?
Students will need to know the purpose of a graphic organizer and how to perform online searches.
Overview/Introduction/Main Hook (Make a connection with students’ backgrounds and/or prior
learning using an authentic situation to start them thinking about the objectives and the essential
question the lesson addresses.)
What do you know about Africa? (Let students discuss what they know or think they know
about African countries and keep a list on the board)

Process: Teacher Does/Student Product(s): Specific Strategies for


Does… Assessment/Evidence of supporting diverse learner
Learning. skills and abilities throughout
the lesson
What do you know about Africa? Class discussion – checking There are no wrong answers
Let students discuss what they for prior knowledge. – everyone can participate.
know or think they know about
African countries and keep a list on
the board.

Introduce lesson set-up: students


decide what they want to know,
record information in note
organizer, add to group project of
large map – looking for patterns.
Class discussion –asking Asking “What are ways we
Ask students what they WANT to students to frame the could research this? How
know about countries in Africa. learning. could we show this on a
Create a list on the board. map?”

Lead students in democratic vote of


list created: What 6 items will we
be researching?
Group work will allow
Split class into 6 groups – student students to work with one
lead, but teacher managed. another to help find
information. I will change up
groups that have students
that do not work well
together from my experience
so far.
Give out graphic organizers and Graphic organizer with Graphic organizer will help
immediately request students write countries already listed for organize information found
6 topics of study along the heading each group – will need and will give a quick visual
of the organizer. *I walk the room students to fill in header cue of what work/research
and check that each student has with topics to research from still needs to be
done this. democratic vote earlier in accomplished.
 Economic Value class. (See example organizer
(GDP/capita) below for Group 6)
 Education
 Animals (wildlife)
 Agriculture (man cultivated) Give students time to start
 Culture digging into logistics of tasks
 Landforms (regional and research, I circulate
characteristics) around room to see how each
Students split research into group has organized tasks
individual tasks and work together and help guide any groups
to find all info requested. that have not covered this
*Students did not know how to part of the work yet.
show culture on a map so we
agreed to make a PowerPoint using
Google slides that had one slide per
country that showed something
interesting about that country’s
culture.

Once research is accomplished, I A large map that I traced Another opportunity to


guide students in plotting onto butcher paper and is record info in another place
information on large political map taped up to whiteboard. and see regions visually, not
of Africa. (See my discussion guide just a name on paper.
below)
 Students asked to send 3 Class discussion – Are there Cueing curiosity and
representatives to big map any patterns? See where hypotheses creating.
to label their countries, use discussion goes. Is there any
symbols or words to show room for further research?
regional
landforms/characteristics.
FOUNDATION FOR REST OF
ACTIVITY.
 Let students guide the work:
what agricultural products
do they want to look up?
Who has this item listed for
their country?
 Students: Different colored
sticky notes are used for
various information and
coded on board next to big
map so there is a visual key
to reference. Agriculture Ex:
o Yellow: corn
o Green: nuts
o Blue: sheep

Look for patterns in the data: Are Handout – students had 2 Open-ended questions and
some of the generalizations true? days to gather info. At end of reflection are more for my
each day I asked the class to curiosity about their learning.
share what new info they Other data requested will be
learned today. I let this guide blatant facts.
a handout I made that I hope
helps them think about the
information gathered in a big
picture kind of way.

Culture activity: I do a quick turn PowerPoints: Students Great visual reminder that
through all the slides shared to my shared their Google slides to these are people with rich
Drive. Students are allowed to say my Google Drive so we could cultures; not just a collection
comments out loud (on topic). (See view images that represent of facts we are looking into.
example slide below.) each country’s culture/s.

Youtube video about Burkina Faso. Absorb that life is different


https://www.youtube.com/ but also sort of the same.
watch?v=AZJPdbtn2KM
Closure: Who thinks African continent is more interesting than before we started this? What
else piqued your interest? Who would want to visit Africa? Where? Why?

Considerations prior to the lesson:


 What is the objective of the lesson? To learn more about Africa and attempt to
use inference skills to make bigger conclusions.
 What provisions are you making for faster and slower learners? Working in
teams will create social learning experiences. Students can help one another and
guide in finding sources for note-taking. I will think-out-loud when we use the
map to look for patterns. Will ask students to do the same.
 How do you integrate local knowledge and cultural content? During map
plotting I talk about what our GDP is (US and AK), we look with fresh eyes at our
education system. I also encourage students to not see countries in Africa as
“poor” or any other negative connotation, but a DIFFERENT country. They do
things differently. The video about Burkina Faso shows a people that live
differently but are fed, have a strong sense of community, have homes. The
video does not ask for anyone to feel sorry for the people, which is big because I
think many people/resources view countries in Africa through a negative lens.
 How do you use (or not use) technology wisely? We use laptops for research.
Looking back I think I could have used a shared document for the note-taking
part of this.
 How does this lesson fit into the overall curriculum? Learning about a new
continent geographically and culturally.
 Have you changed the lesson plan at all? YES. Many times over and I made it up
to begin with. I changed as the students worked; listening to conversations and
what was working or not working.

Questions for reflection after the lesson:


 How did the lesson go? Overall, I would call this a success. The students were
excited to learn new things about the places they were studying and excited to
share. The map set up needs to be different. I wish there was a way to create an
online map where students could submit their findings and then we could do a
quick search to see which countries share commonalities. Ex: all the countries
that have hippos would be highlighted at once so we could see if there is a
pattern to where hippos live. Then an additional option to see if these areas
have vegetation similarities. I tried to find something online but failed. It seems
like it should be easy to create but I’m not a programmer and it would need to
be student friendly. The problem with the current set up that involves a map
with political lines and sticky notes is that the downtime while we are waiting
for information to be posted is not used well. Students get loud and off-topic. It
takes too long. My first attempt to fill in this space was to collect random facts
about each topic and to tell students my findings while the few students were
posting. This didn’t really go well. My host teacher suggested that all students
have a “task” they could be working on. I did an extra credit option (3 points) to
either free-hand draw a political map of Africa or to label all the capital cities on
a map printout I supplied at initial lesson. This worked ok. The new battle was
keeping their attention on the lesson at-hand instead of the extra credit option.
They are not great at switching their attention from one thing to another and
some of them began to give all their attention to the extra assignment.
 Did the students meet the objective? Yes. How do you know? They supplied me
with notes that showed their research. Also, they shared pieces of interesting
information about where they were studying before they left for each day
(shows curiosity is there to learn more then just the facts). I don’t think many of
them made inferences based on the map plotting. Ex: saw that wildlife is
connected to the regional geographical characteristics of where animal is found.
I tried to help make this leap but got a lot of blank stares. The animals chosen to
plot on the map didn’t have a clear pattern that could be easily distinguished
along habitats. I thought there would be a clear pattern between GDP/capita and
education made available so this was the last part of the activity. I used the
symbols < and > assuming the students would know what they meant. It was
only after they plotted countries with GDP/capita < $4,000 and GDP/capita >
$4,000 that I said I was shocked that my assumption wasn’t correct. That’s when
the students asked what < and > meant. THEY PLOTTED COUNTRIES AND
DIDN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY WERE PLOTTING. Why didn’t anyone ask? I
feel like the students are comfortable with me and should have felt ok to ask but
no one did. It was the end of the day so I let it go. We looked at 3 countries
specifically to see if higher GDP/capita would equate to higher levels of
education offered and all 3 did. Speaking of GDP/capita, I thought we discussed
what this was but I think I should have spent more time on making sure I
understood what it represented and making sure the students understood also. I
know what it is but have never had to explain it before.
 Were there any unexpected events? How effectively did you respond? Like I
mentioned before, finding some way to fill in the downtime was an issue. I wish I
had also explained <, >, and GDP better. The students were actually really
engaged in the learning so aspects of the lesson went smoothly. I broke up some
students that don’t work well together into different groups. I put 2 students
together that I have never seen talk to each other but both have trouble staying
on-task. They became best buds in their efforts to distract others. I camped out
by their table a lot to keep them on-task. I try to be really kind but I had enough
at one point so I called them out in front of everyone. This is not something I like
to do but I was surprised at its effectiveness. I think they were accustomed to
how “nice” I am so they were pushing my boundaries. It was good for them to
hear my honest frustrations, I’m guessing.
 Comment on one student who did particularly well and one who did not meet
your expectations. Why did this happen? Mercedes didn’t have exceptional
research (It was good!) but her grandmother lives in Central America in a poor
country so I think she understood that you can have less and still have a good
life. I saw her making connections that other students weren’t making. Her
experiences helped her see Africa in a way I don’t think the other students could.
I think the students liked what they were learning but it was about poor
countries with exotic cultures; not about real people doing real, necessary tasks.
Colter is a student I am disappointed in. He’s one of the students that is always
looking to be distracted and bring someone down with him. His research is
complete but vague. At his table he finished early so I asked him to help out
someone who wasn’t finished; he said he would but he never did. Their
slideshow was not about cultures, but a collection of maps and I think he had a
big hand in getting it together. This kid is really smart but he doesn’t care. He
does well enough, but never as good as he could. I would love to see his Best.
 Are there any changes you would make in this lesson if you could do it again?
Why? Yes. I don’t know the best way to synthesize the information; to give it
importance or context. The map plotting seems like a good idea but there’s not a
good way to execute it while managing almost 30 7th graders.
Graphic Organizer:
Discussion Guide:
Cultural slide example:
Plotting on map:
Student 1: Colter