Students write at their desks.
Assessment

Adding to Evidence Logs, 2 of 3

In step 4 of the unit assessment, students review the documents and videos from Lessons 14-18 and consider which information supports, expands, or challenges their thinking about the writing prompt.

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At a Glance

Assessment

Language

English — US

Subject

  • History
  • Social Studies

Grade

6–8

Duration

One 50-min class period
  • The Holocaust

Overview

About This Assessment

Before introducing the final historical topic for the essay, the Holocaust and its legacy, now is an appropriate time in the unit for students to review the documents and videos from Lessons 14 to 18 and consider which information supports, expands, or challenges their thinking about the writing prompt.

Which choices made by individuals, groups, and nations in the history that you have learned about so far in this unit seemed most significant? What made those choices powerful or impactful?

This assessment is designed to fit into one 50-min class period and includes:

  • 5 activities
  • 2 teaching strategies

Preparing to Teach

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Lesson Plans

Activities

  • By using the Learn to Listen, Listen to Learn discussion strategy, students can share and build on each other’s ideas about the significant choices they are learning about in this unit. Start by having students reflect in their journals on the following question:
    Which choices made by individuals, groups, and nations in the history that you have learned about so far in this unit seemed most significant? What made those choices powerful or impactful?
  • Since students have been asked to reflect on this question in earlier evidence log activities, they can review their writing and either add to their previous thinking or write about a choice they learned about in Lessons 14 to 18.
  • Next, divide students into groups of four or five. Each student will have the opportunity to share part of his or her journal reflection with the rest of the group. It is helpful to provide a time limit for each student’s sharing. The other group members will practice listening without interrupting the speaker. When it is their turn to share, tell students to refrain from responding to other students’ ideas; they should focus only on sharing their own thoughts and reflections from their journals. Encourage students to take notes from each other and record ideas or evidence that supports or challenges their ideas.
  • After all group members have shared, each group will have an open conversation in which they ask each other questions and respond to each other’s ideas. They should decide on three or four main ideas from their discussion that they will share with the whole group.
  • Then ask each group to report to the entire class on the main ideas from their conversation.
  • Finish the activity by giving students a few minutes to return to their journals and write down any ideas they heard from their classmates that contributed to or changed their thinking about the impact and power of people’s choices in history and today.

Ask students to take out their journals and choose an idea or question they heard from a classmate during the Learn to Listen, Listen to Learn activity that they found interesting, provocative, or confusing. They should record the idea and then write a journal entry in response. If they finish before the time is up, they can choose a different idea from the previous activity to respond to in their journals. Students might share their new journal responses with a partner or in a class discussion that also allows them to share their observations about the Learn to Listen, Listen to Learn discussion as a whole.

  • If you have noticed students struggling with annotation or paraphrasing, you might review those skills with one or more of the readings from this section of the unit before asking them to add to their evidence logs.
  • If you have observed that students are writing every piece of evidence rather than the most relevant ones on their evidence logs, you might create a mini-lesson in which you give students a mock thesis statement (it could be for a different topic question) and a list of ten pieces of evidence. Ask students to label the evidence “R” for relevant and “I” for irrelevant, explaining their choices. Or you might ask students to rank the evidence in a ladder from most to least relevant.

Students should add to their evidence logs any information from Lessons 14 to 18 that helps them answer the essay question:

How does learning about the choices people made during Weimar Germany and the rise of the Nazi Party help us understand the power and impact of our choices in the world today?

In a final journal response or on exit cards, ask students to respond to the following questions:

  • What did you learn from the Learn to Listen, Listen to Learn activity today that extends or challenges your thinking about the essay topic question?
  • What do you feel you need to learn more about in order to answer the writing prompt and write your essay?

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