Finding and recreating some of the oldest recipes, building models of ancient irrigation systems, and even teaching their peers how to play sports the Mesopotamians would have played. These are just some of the things that students choose to do (and do extremely well) when they're simply given a choice. I understand not all of my middle school students get as excited about history as I do, but that doesn't mean they don't get excited about other things!
Every single student has a passion, and even if that isn't history I want to meet them where they are.
My goal isn't to teach an endless list of dates and names, but instead to teach essential skills my students can use even once they leave my classroom. I hope that my students don't only see research and history as a subject in school that they'll eventually be done with, but can be a part of their daily lives as life long learners.
As educators we know how important reading is for students (and people of all ages, for that matter!). But as seventh graders, it may not always be quite so clear the impact reading can have.
So imagine how powerful it could be if students could read the same books that inspired so many of the world's most powerful and influential leaders.
The goal of my project is to make it easy for students to find the same books that Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai, and Linda Sue Park (an author we read in collaboration with Language Arts) read as well as some of the things they wrote themselves!
As well as giving them access to the books, my project aims to make my classroom library a place they can get comfortable and enjoy being in. By adding bean bag chairs, it will give students an additional space to read in that they can get excited about using.
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