Smashing Eduprotocols

What happens when you smash three EDUProtocols into one? You get an alternative assessment that gets your students talking about the book they are reading in your class. The Hero’s Journey and Jungian Archetypes are popular frameworks for analyzing books, films, and historical events. This activity merged them with a Sketch and Tell.

My students read this book and used the HJ & Archetype framework to take notes as they watched the movie. Then they worked in small groups to arrive at a consensus identifying people and events that represented the stages in the Hero’s Journey and archetypes commonly seen in historical narratives. You can see their attempts here.

While I was TWA — teaching (while) walking around — during first period, I observed many students struggling to use textual evidence and cite page numbers. I was able to reinforce that expectation with my second-period students and the quality got better. I have used the Hero’s Journey and Archetype Four Square EDUProtocols separately in the past and I was thrilled with how the addition of Sketch and Tell allowed students to collaborate and be creative while maintaining a focus on their reasoning skills.

In most classrooms, the students doing the talking are the students doing the learning, however post-pandemic, I have struggled to facilitate decent academic conversations in my classes. Too many students do not want to take chances on original ideas in front of their peers. Presentations are dreadful and small group discussions trail off, wither, and die before including any academic content. This trifecta of an EduProtocol smash built student confidence in applying historical knowledge within an academic framework. The requirement of creating consensus within a small group was the secret sauce or pièce de résistance that kept the conversations going.

It is important to teach students that it is okay to hold deep, contradictory, and complex thoughts in their heads. Real life is seldom black and white. Rewarding conversations teach us to appreciate the many shades of gray involved in historical interpretation. These three students each viewed Alfred differently. Despite this, they were each able to provide evidence and a line of reasoning to support their claim.

I’m happy to report that for their second rep, my students were able to identify the missing steps of the reward, road back, resurrection, and return with the elixir. Their analysis skills were tested and they passed. This was a low-stress, high-impact activity where students got to flex their critical thinking skills and practice using academic language in small group discussions. I will be smashing these EduProtocols again.

To learn more about using The Hero’s Journey, Archetype Four Square, and Sketch and Tell EduProtocols pick up our book The EduProtocol Field Guide: Social Studies Edition. If you are one of our 2,500+ happy customers, please consider posting a review on Amazon. Also, continue to share your student work with us on Twitter using the #EduProtocols hashtag. Lastly, don’t miss our Social Studies Show on the third Thursday of every month.

Number Mania Extension Activities

This month on The Social Studies Show on EduProtocols Plus, Adam and I will be talking about one of our favorite EduProtocols — the Number Mania lesson frame. Our show takes place on the third Thursday of every month at 6 pm Pacific time. On March 16, 2023, we will be broadcasting live from Spring CUE (and Adam’s basement).

I see teachers sharing Number Mania on social media frequently. I worry that too many use it as a one-and-done lesson. Good infographics need an audience and some analysis. Two of my favorite extension activities with this EduProtocol are the self-assessment and the GIST statement. This student used the Panama Canal lesson I did for the CLIC project. The next day, they were given this debriefing document and asked to reflect on how they did. After they have completed a gallery walk, students are usually pretty critical of themselves. Asking them what they would do differently helps them prepare for the next project with confidence.

If your students are tired of debriefing and reflecting, then I suggest you teach them the GIST strategy. Simply ask them to select the five most important facts from their Number Mania and write one sentence for each fact. If the resulting paragraph tells the reader the five Ws and one H (who, what, when, where, why & how) — then they have created an infographic that captured the main idea of the reading. A more advanced synthesis task is pictured below.

We look forward to seeing you on EduProtocols Plus to learn how you have used Number Mania to replace boring lectures and give your students practice with numeracy and digital literacy.

If you need more examples of how to use Number Mania in the Social Studies classroom, rush on over to Amazon and put our book in your cart. It’s full of ideas for using Number Mania as formative or summative assessments.