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Constitutional Convention in 8th Grade Social Studies

Today I had the pleasure of visiting Mr. Whitehead’s 8th grade Social Studies Classroom.

The students were involved in the first day of a Constitutional Convention simulation, which had each of them playing the role of delegate (Founder) at the convention.  

I wanted to write about the experience because of the highlights related to student learning.

1.  Collaboration:  The students were involved in collaboration related to the content area.  

2.  Student talk vs. teacher talk:  When I reflect on the time I spent in the classroom, I find myself thinking about the time students talk vs. the time the teacher talks.  This class was an ideal example of teacher talk followed by student talk (peer to peer), student questioning, and student self assessment.

3.  Questions:  Throughout the lesson students were able to ask questions of the teacher, their group, and others in the classroom.  Mr. Whitehead prompted the class with higher level questions, often relating situations from history to present day events the kids could understand.

Clearly this lesson was John Whitehead at his finest.  Engaging, collaborative, and full of energy. 

I’m glad that I stopped by for the lesson today.

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