Middle East Conflict Lessons

It was a glorious, short week in Dr. Petri’s World History class because LAUSD has given us a four-day Labor Day weekend. My students continued learning about the Middle East. They finished their Flip videos on the History of Afghanistan.

Only 40/53 or 75% of my 10th-grade students turned these in, so I have some work to do in building a culture of completion. Toward this end, I’ve designed a follow-up peer review protocol so students can practice giving each other positive comments a la the feedforward book I’ve been reading by Joe Hirsch. 

After finishing that, students collaborated on a Middle East Wars Cyber Sandwich that taught them the basics of the Persian Gulf War and the War in Afghanistan. This led to a note-taking drill where I measured how many pages of notes students took while listening to the excellent This is Democracy Podcast. Students only slightly improved their note-taking when given the transcript compared to just listening.

For homework, they were asked to write five multiple-choice questions on the War in Afghanistan. I gave them a Quizizz template, so I could easily import questions into the gamified platform for some Fast and Curious reps next week. That will remind me to teach students about Ebbenghaus’ Forgetting Curve.

Lastly, we viewed a PBS Frontline documentary called Afghanistan Undercover which profiled the Taliban takeover and their subsequent treatment of women. Students completed a Sketch & Tell to record a memorable moment that stuck with them. I thought these samples showed significant maturity and depth of reasoning. I have great hopes for these students. It is early, but it is going to be a great year.

10th-grade student work sample.

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