The Revolution (Unit) Continues…

My 10th graders worked hard this past week researching and designing digital stories that use historic and contemporary evidence to create a guide to revolutions. We jokingly thanked the people of Ukraine in class for taking action at the perfect moment (in terms of the flow of our unit).

This is the description of the digital story project that I have shared with students and this is the rubric for the project. The research phase of this project has been exciting because the participants in recent revolutions used social media extensively to spread their message and document events. Additionally, our studies of the French and Haitian Revolutions gave students opportunities to analyze many historic primary sources.

In addition to the resources that I wrote about previously the students and I found this short video from a Ukrainian woman quite powerful. I found myself researching the role of music in revolutions and found this and this, among other sources that I shared with the students. We were all amused and horrified by the photos and videos from Yanukovych’s Presidential Palace and struck by the poignant responses of Ukrainians. A student found this great source that shows different symbols and slogans from the Arab Spring. Finally, this article about Venezuela brings up some interesting connections between different revolutionary movements around the world.

Overall my role at this stage of the project is to challenge students to make sure their work has clear and unique messages or insights about revolutions and that they are not just summarizing information. Also, I remind them that time spent editing and polishing makes a huge difference in the quality of the final product and our ability to have these projects appeal to a wider audience.

As a class we discussed the what revolution might mean in the context of the US and I was reminded of the Bob Marley song Jamming that was remixed so beautifully by MC Lyte. During my time as a student teacher with Michael Clapper at West Philly HS I started many of my school days listening to this song.

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