Colonial People – The Struggle is Real!


Colonial People – The Struggle is Real! Social Studies Knocks it out of the Park!

What I LOVED about working on this project with Dana was how her student’s came alive with the concept.  Back in school when I was taught about colonial life it always felt like a snooze.  This project brought it back to life!THE CONCEPT:  The struggles of human beings spans the lengths of time, so what are the struggles of the colonial people and who struggles the most?  Each student was challenged to pick a colonial persona and take on their perspective from the colonial time period.  They had to research the everyday struggles of those people and what they would have wanted to make their life better.  The idea was that if there were to protest, what would they protest for?  Who would need to hear their story?  Who could they recruit to help?

This project started with researching colonial people and left with students drawing connections between classes of people based on their similar struggles.

MY FAVORITE PART:  My favorite part of this lesson was the communication and collaboration between students in all social studies classes.  The students worked on individual protest presentations but they got to work with a team of the same persona in order to collaborate on research and key concepts.  On the third day all students in both social studies classes met in the library to work together.  The students spent the first half of the class collaborating with others who had the same persona.  They shared information, identified future research questions and determined who they should target through their “protest”.  They then spent the second half of the class period networking with other “colonial people”.  They were encouraged to go to other people and ask them about their struggles.  They needed to try and find similarities in order to join forces and were given the opportunity to meet their “oppressors”.

21st Century Skills:
Communication and Collaboration – How do we communicate our struggles to  successfully achieve change?!  Who do we need to join forces with?  Who needs to hear our stories?  Key Questions students had to consider!
Research and Information Fluency – Students designed their own research questions and reevaluated as they went through the project.  After meeting with other students they made plans for future research and areas of focus. 
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving – The authentic problem in this project was – how do we communicate our struggle to get other people to care and help us?   This question stretches beyond the colonial era and can be connected to current day struggles.  
Creativity and Innovation –  Students were allowed to design any project to represent their story and voice.  They could make a TV advertisement, blog post, social media event, posters or something of their own design! 

Student Owned, Authentic and Connected, and Community Supported!

Way to go 6th Grade Social Studies!! You knocked it out of the park with this project!

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