Before beginning a unit, I like to give kids the big picture. So, since this week was only 3 days, we spent those 3 days looking at the big ideas that led up to the American Revolution.
The first time I taught 4th grade, I stumbled across Rhythm, Rhyme, Results - a company that created rap songs for many content areas. They have a YouTube channel that I would highly recommend subscribing to. Anyway, I used their song "Redcoats vs. Rebels" to introduce the Revolution. Instead of using their video, I used the one below because it was only text.
I played it once for students to listen and get the fun out before we began the assignment. My kids are very musical and I received so much joy just watching their faces as this played.
The 2nd time through, students were given a blank sheet of paper and sketched the "movie" that was playing through their minds.
I loved seeing the different images that students drew. My room is not usually quiet, and I don't mind that at all because I believe that sometimes learning is loud, but during this assignment, there was NO talking at all.
After the drawing piece, students then moved to small groups and shared their ideas with one another. At this point, students could add to their drawings if they chose.
Then, we met as a whole class and added our ideas to a class map of the Revolution. My students have BEGGED to listen to this song every single day since this lesson.
The next day, we used our Social Studies book to discuss cause and effect of some of the events leading up to the revolution. The beginning of our chapter had a brief overview of the taxes and acts that were passed during the time period and the colonists reaction.
Students were given choice as to what app they wanted to use to show me the chain of events. When I teach technology to my students, I give students power to choose which app on their ipads will best complete the task. So, my students turned in a multitude of finished assignments. Some used Popplet Lite (my favorite app) while some used Skitch, and even others used just the Notes application.
I can't wait to get back to school on Monday to dig deeper and challenge my students further.