For a deeper understanding of WWII, students were asked to create a Google Slide presentation on a WWII topic of choice and then relate that topic to America’s role in this global war. Here are a selection of stellar presentations!
These are examples of the slides you’ll find within the presentations listed above. A presentation of three to five minutes to the class was required, but every student had so much to tell their peers after their research that their presentation time wound up at least doubling for them all! I am so proud of their depth of learning.
This year I tried something new with my students, although that is nothing new for me. I’ve never given a standard exam as a summative assessment; instead, I favor semester-long projects. This year’s semester project for my US History students was two-fold:
complete a timeline, which compared the eras of exploration and colonization of America through the American Civil War, to biblical and modern-day (so as to illustrate how thematic patterns repeat themselves (Eccles 1:9) and,
complete an annotated bibliography on four topics of choice, each topic specific to an era in American history. For each topic, students were to gather five credible sources (a combination of both primary and secondary). Therefore, their final bibliography was to contain 20 sources, each critically analyzed and summarized.
This project required intensive writing and research, as well as an introduction into an alternate formatting style guide for research papers, Chicago (Turabian). Both sections of this project were to be built as the semester moved forward – and we developed our understanding of US history – with specific, built-in checkpoints where I and their peers evaluated their progress.
Outside of the information taught in class, this two-part project represents their body of knowledge gained in just five months of study. As you might imagine, these students worked very hard on this project. There were times during the semester that they thought they’d never get through, but at the end, a realization of accomplishment brought smiles of pride to their faces.
Here are a few examples of hard-earned, exemplary work.
For the last 15 years, Desert Christian High School has offered junior and senior girls a two-week summer trip to California. The trip is actually an interdisciplinary program where cross-curricular learning is fostered outside of the classroom. Among the disciplines incorporated into the trip are biology, oceanography, comparative worldview, history, economics, art, climatology, ecology, cultural diversity, stewardship, and conservation.
Students who embark on this trip go to the source of learning, where they live, breathe, and thrive in an interdisciplinary learning environment. In addition, and perhaps the most important of all, students come to know God, the creator of this earth through experience, interactions, fellowship, and mentorship.
Rather than an itinerary, a “tool box” of ideas, events, and places to see is arranged. Each day is an adventure. No day is pre planned. There is one item that has a special, permanent place in the toolbox, however. John Steinbeck’s, Log from the Sea of Cortez, is the inspiration for this program. Students are asked to read it before the trip so as to understand the meaning of authentic learning and exploration.
We’d like to share with you some of our treasured moments from this year’s trip. These images were taken on the days we spent at Catalina Island. Most of us snorkeled, but two of the chaperones and one student is a certified diver. They brought back pictures, and video, of the deep!
In this picture, our lead chaperone, who happens to be a certified master diver, and who also started the girl’s trip program 15 years ago, is briefing our student diver.
Preparing the hair for underwater adventures….
Other, professional divers, who chartered the boat with us. Diving is serious business!
Our little school bus was the perfect home away from home. She brought us to and from events, stored all our food, played movies to keep us entertained on the long California freeways, provided a safe place to get to know one another, and nurtured quite, reflective moments.
Hearst Castle was an awesome experience. Here we learned a great deal about American history, enterprise, and the power of hard work and perseverance.
Our view two evenings in a row. There’s nothing like watching the sunset from a boat and then falling asleep to the rocking of the water.