All posts by scottmpetri

Scott Petri has taught social studies for five years at the middle school level and six years at the high school level. He has also served as a coordinator and small school principal in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and a Masters in Educational Administration from California State University Northridge, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of San Diego.

WWI First Person Research Paper

On order to engage my students in the study of World War One, they are conducting a first person research paper that showcases their narrative skills. This assignment was adapted from (Heckenlaible, 2008). I am posting the directions for the assignment now and will follow up with additional posts featuring student work and feedback.Pershing

Gen. John J. Pershing, photographed by Harvey Patteson in 1917. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. https://www.loc.gov/item/00652556/

  1. Listen to 15 Minute History to refresh your memory on why the US joined WWI and use the resources to help you brainstorm topics.
  2. Decide to work with partners or work solo. Then use this form to declare your narrator and story (topic). Each narrative must be two minutes or 1.5 pages per person.
  3. Produce an Annotated Bibliography in MLA format with at least six sources. If a historical detail is not included, then you cannot use it in your narrative.
  4. Use the details from your annotated bibliography to write your script. Document the historical details in your story by underlining them and including a (parenthetical citation) immediately after.
  5. Submit your story in writing or record your narrative for extra points.
  6. Create an Annotated Timeline that includes maps of where your story takes place.
  7. Write a 5 question Quizizz to share after your story has been heard by the class.

To see the directions for a previous assignment, look at Vietnam War Narrative You may listen to three examples: Vietnam War Nurses, Protest Becomes Tragedy, The Last Moments of Elizabeth Hall

CA USH Standard: 11.4.5: Analyze the political, economic, and social ramifications of World War I on the home front. CCSS: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.

Reading & Writing in Social Studies

Integrating Listening, Speaking & Writing in the Social Studies Classroom

Los Angeles County of Education

November 13, 2018

Here is the deck for the workshop.

8:30 – Reading in Social Studies

  • Bob Bain video
  • Increasing Student Reading in class
  • CommonLit
  • text sets
  • historical fiction & non-fiction

9:00 – Daily Writing Tasks

  • Calendar Conversations
  • SEL Quickwrites & Student Reflections
  • Summarizing & Paraphrasing
  • Corroborating
  • Annotated Bibliographies (mini-research projs)
  • Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD)

9:45 – 10:00 Break

10:00 – Narrative Writing

  • The Power of Narrative
  • First Person Research Papers
  • Vietnam Veteran Interviews

11:00 – Informative/Explanatory Writing

  • Timeline Transitions
  • Twitter as a pre-writing summarization tool
  • Six word stories/bios
  • RAFT writing

11:30 – 12:30 Lunch

12:30 – Argumentative Writing

  • LOOP Writing
  • Believing & Doubting Game
  • MEAL paragraphs

1:45 – 2:00 Break

2:00 – Giving Feedback on Student Writing

  • Self-Review
  • Peer Review
  • Rubric Calibration
  • Road test the Robo-readers

 

Veterans Day Reading

Patriots from the Barrio

Author Dave Gutierrez has produced a well-researched work of non-fiction that examines Mexican-American contributions in WWII. Patriots From The Barrio describes the heroics of Company E, the 141st Infantry from the 36th Texas division of the US Army. This unit was initially composed entirely of Mexican American enlisted men. While engaged in campaigns in Italy and North Africa, Company E sustains appalling casualties against Nazi Germany’s best troops.

Thanks to Azusa Pacific University and their wonderful donors, Richard Webster of the Helen and Will Webster Foundation and Lee Walcott of the Ahmanson Foundation, I was awarded a 2018-19 Keeping History Alive grant to use for an on-campus presentation and classroom resources.

This means after reading Patriots of the Barrio during their study of WWII, my students will be getting a personal visit from the author. They will learn about genealogy research techniques from Dave and engage in student-centered inquiry projects that help them examine untold Hispanic contributions on American battlefields. This project will give them a chance to write those stories, preserve those stories and contribute to the history of their people.

Students will produce oral histories or interviews of family members that can be recorded and shared with the Library of Congress. Further, transcripts of exemplary Hispanic Histories will be displayed in the Library at John F. Kennedy High School. Selected family histories will be recorded on video and shared with parents and families at school events.

Listening & Speaking Workshop

Integrating Listening, Speaking & Writing in the Social Studies Classroom

Los Angeles County of Education

Tuesday, November 6, 2017

Here is the presentation for today’s workshop. Feel free to make a copy and repurpose it for your instructional program. 

8:30 – Listening Instruction

  • Teacher Survey
  • Overview of Research
  • Julian Treasure – RASA
  • Listenwise

9:30 – Listening Drills

  • 15 Minute History – Scramble for Africa
  • Note-Taking Drill
  • Quizizz Formative Assessment

9:45 – 10:00 Break

10:00 – StoryCorps

  • The Great American Listen
  • One Small Step
  • 9/11 Oral History Project
  • Vietnam Veteran Interview

10:30 – Socratic Smackdown

  • Social Darwinism & Laissez-Faire American Capitalism
  • Rules/Scoring
  • Coach/Instant Reply Cards

11:00 – Discussion Models (whole class, small group, individual)

  • Constructive Conversation Skills
  • Historical Talking Tools
  • Speaking Scaffolds (Confidence Monitor/Teleprompter)
  • Classroom to Classroom Video-conferencing

11:30 – 12:30 Lunch

12:30 – Civil Conversation

  • Social Darwinism & Laissez-Faire American Capitalism
  • Tracking conversations
  • Reflection/Debriefing
  • Curriculum Library

1:00 – Creating Speaking Assignments

  • ACOVA
  • PVLEGS
  • Flipgrid

1:45 – 2:00 Break

2:00 – Assessing Speeches

  • Progressivism & Imperialism
  • Openings – SignPosting Language – Closings
  • Rubrics

Improving Speech Openings

Author Erik Palmer is fond of saying “Most teachers don’t teach speaking, they assign speaking!” As a History teacher, I have been guilty of that in the past, but thanks to Chapter 5 (pp.35-44) in Well Spoken, now I have some tools that help me TEACH speaking techniques that help students become better orators.

well-spoken-cover

For this assignment my 11th grade US History students will research an Imperialist-Progressive event/person and create an Ignite Talk that explains how that person is an example of a Progressive leader/movement or Imperialist leader-event-action. Presenters get 11 slides (no more than 5 words on each slide), which automatically advance every 15 seconds. The last slide must be a Works Cited card.

As part of my direct instruction, I include this presentation which contains numerous resources that help my students practice writing and sharing grabber openings, identify signpost language, and execute strong closings. Students have one class period to discuss the techniques, choose one, and write their opening. They post these on a discussion board so that I can read and react to them individually before the next day in class. Because they are short (50-100 words), it is easy for me to read them and offer some advice for revising. 

Palmer offers eight different grabber openings in the excerpt I give to my students: 1) the challenge, 2) the provocative question, 3) the powerful quote, 4) the surprising statistic, 5) the unusual fact, 6) the poignant story, 7) the unexpected, and 8) the teaser. If a student doesn’t apply one of these techniques in their speech opening, I know they haven’t done the assigned reading. Another benefit of having all of these openings in an open forum like a discussion board is so I can spot trends and see what they are struggling with. The majority of my students used #2 the “Provocative Question” technique. Many struggled applying the technique to their topic and I needed to provide additional clarification the next day in class.

First, I googled the definition: A provocative question. Provocative questions are those that encourage a stakeholder to think creatively and laterally. They help to uncover any perceived constraints, and can help to evaluate whether those perceived constraints are real or imaginary. Next, I found another blog that provided 10 more examples of provocative questions. Then, I refined the definition to make it more specific to this assignment — informing an audience about a Progressive or Imperialist person, event, or action in US History.  A Provocative Question challenges the beliefs your audience holds about progressivism or imperialism and helps them think differently about the topic in order to improve their understanding.

Below are three examples of my students’ work. I am interested in knowing which sample you would rate as above the standard, which you would rate as meeting the standard, and which you would rate as below the standard.

Sample A

How would most of you feel, if your country fought for its freedom from one country only for another to take its place? Would you fight for your country’s freedom or let them rule over you? Well, Emilio Aguinaldo born in the Philippines on March 23, 1869, fought against the Spaniards and the Americans for Philippines independence. In 1896 and 1897, he attempted to resurrect the Philippine during the Spanish rule however, he ultimately failed.

Sample B

Let’s say one of your peers was nothing out of the ordinary, doing exactly what you do in school. However, they are favored by an administrator as they have wealthy parents, and follow and enforce everything said administrator has said and asked them to do. But the thing is, this administrator is not employed at your school, they actually work at a far superior, private school. Other schools and the one you attend wish to be like this school and take what they say seriously. So when the administrator advocates for your peer and says that they should become the Student Body President, that they should “rule the school” there is no other choice. Adolfo Diaz was a Nicaraguan president that served for two separate terms. He was only placed in his position of power because he fell under what the U.S. government’s standards were for a good ally. Because he followed what the U.S. told him to do and became their puppet, the U.S. effectively ruled a country that they should have had no power over. 

Sample C

Have you ever experienced an instance where someone you trusted turned their back on you and took your enemy’s side instead? How would you feel if you were put in that situation? Would your perspective on that person change? Well, General Victoriano Huerta, did just that. He betrayed his successor, Francisco Madero, forcing him to resign his presidency, in order for Huerta to take charge and initiate a military dictatorship. Huerta’s tyrannical way of ruling caused opposition to his rule and ultimately led to his downfall.

Please leave your opinion and some justification for that opinion in the comment section below. Thanks again to Erik Palmer for pushing my thinking about how to teach speaking in Social Studies. I love using your work in my classroom.

Listening & Speaking PD

Integrating Listening & Speaking into Social Studies Instruction
Glendale Unified School District
October 9 & 10, 2018

12:00 – Listening Instruction

  • Teach Listening First
  • Julian Treasure – RASA
  • Listenwise
  • 15 Minute History
  • Find content for your class

12:30  – StoryCorps

  • One Small Step
  • Vietnam Veteran Interviews
  • 9/11 Oral History Project

1:00 – Socratic Smackdown

  • Emoluments Clause
  • Scoring Coach Cards
  • Grading standards-based reflections

1:30 – Civil Conversation

  • Curriculum Library
  • Reflection/Debriefing

2:00 – Creating Speaking Assignments

  • Discussion Models (whole class, small group, individual)
  • Speaking Scaffolds (Confidence Monitor/Teleprompter)
  • ACOVA

2:30 – Assessing Speaking Assignments

  • PVLEGS
  • Flipgrid

The presentation can be accessed and copied here.

Gender Bias in High School History

I tried an experiment in my high school World and US History classes that was inspired by Dr. Bob Bain, the highly esteemed professor from the University of Michigan. I have seen Dr. Bain speak several times and was intrigued with an experiment which roughly prompts students with: an alien from another galaxy sits next to you at Starbucks, he/she turns to you and says tell me about the history of your planet.

Since I teach high school sophomores (World History) and juniors (United States History), I couched this approached a little differently because I thought an hour-long writing assignment would be alienating (pun intended). On the first day of school, I asked my students to draw a map of the World or United States from their memory. On the second day of school, I asked my students to list the Top 10 most important events in World or US History. Interestingly, this resulted in 66 events in WH and 65 events in USH. There were no significant differences between classes.

On the third day of school, I tell students that because they exceeded my expectations with the previous assignment I am doubling what I expect from them. I ask students to write down the Top 20 most important people in World or US History. This causes frenzied discussion, as many students struggle to come up with 20 names. I give my students 10 minutes for this task (2 minutes per name). After they are done with their list, I ask them to count up how many men are on the list and compare it to how many women are on the list.

Image result for gender bias

On average, students in each class period listed 13 men and three women. This generated a nice discussion on the role of gender bias in History. I let my students know that they have a lot of freedom to do inquiry projects and independent investigations in this class, they need to pick the stories they tell carefully. They are responsible for writing history for the next generation. Do they want to continue to under-represent women in high school textbooks?

A 1984 study by M.K Tetrealt of US history textbooks revealed that the text allotted to references to women added up to less than one page. A closer look at another book showed that in more than 1,000 pages, there were four illustrations of men for every one of a woman and that less than three percent of the text was about women (Gospe, 2015). As California adopts new textbooks in 2018, I wonder how much these stats have changed?