The Familiarity and Strangeness of History

Today I presented my demonstration lesson as part of the UNCC National Writing Project Summer Institute. In part, I based the demo on a lesson that I’ve done with both adults and students, but I also made some changes to it. I’d never used Lino with a group of folks and wanted to try it out as a potential alternative to Wall Wisher, which has been unstable for me and not particularly aesthetically pleasing.

One of the things  that I really enjoy about the demos is the chance to give and receive feedback afterward. Several people said is that they felt the use of technology in the lesson was seamlessly integrated. As someone who is constantly thinking about ways to integrate tech in ways that feel authentic and not just flashy, I was really happy to hear this.

The primary sources related to Japanese-American internment during WWII I chose generated some really interesting and passionate discussion and got at several of the larger themes of identity and use of language that I was hoping to address. There was definitely more material than I’d try to pack into a typical 45 minute lesson, but I think it got at the issue of connection to and disconnection from historical material (avoiding an overly simplified historical narrative) that I’m thinking about for my inquiry project.

If you’re interested, here’s a link to Google doc and presentation slides. Jessie also wrote a post about the lesson and captured some of our chat discussion.


3 thoughts on “The Familiarity and Strangeness of History

  1. It was really a great demo. Not only was the topic interesting, the use of technology truly was well integrated. I felt like the tech added to the experience, but didn’t dominate it. Well done!

  2. Thought it was way cool. Really liked how each of the spaces in which we interacted had purpose. I also liked how I had to listen….I mean really had to listen. Two of the three texts had an audio component, and the directions you gave us about what to write and think about weren’t posted somewhere. You just told us, and we had to listen. And it was really tough….especially with so much else going on the in room. It really made me think about the whole listening strand in ELA. It’s under-taught, but often abandoned in the name of addressing multiple learning styles. But in response to the learning style counter, they were all addressed in your demo. But still, there were a lot of times where I just had to listen, and even though it was a challenge for me, I needed it. Already thinking now about how I can better teach this strand.

  3. Your demo is one of the best I have ever seen. I loved the whole experience–this part of history is one of my favorites to explore. I loved the lino experience. I’ve never used it with kids, but have used it with adults.
    I loved the seamlessness with which you went from one piece to the other. You really made the experience of the Japanese and the Americans come alive. I thank you for the experience.

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