View Lessons by Category > Relevance > History
A girl's school is where it's at! Education, fun, and sisters. But other than the diversion I have, the most accurately honest answer I can give is although it's hard to respond, I have to recall last year in my 7th grade history class. For some background, our teacher Mrs. G. was always enthusiastic about the lessons and encouraged us to relate the in-class topics to the current events going on in our everyday life. During about the third quarter of our school year, there were two very similar issues occurring in the French Republic. One of them was whether they should allow or restrain "showy" religious symbols such as a big cross etc. Although it was a "general" statement, the main goal was to aim at Muslim women (pertaining to the religion of Islam) from wearing a hijab (a covering that represented their belief) out in public. The second was if they should allow or suppress Muslim girls to attend public school (in France) while wearing the hijab. During the time in our seventh-grade World history class, not only were we studying Islam (which really connected to subject), but we also were entering the topic of debate. So, Mrs. G. connected the two, and sectioned us into four groups: One group would be against allowing Muslim girls to wear the hijab at public school while a second group would be pro allowing Muslim girls to wear he hijab at public school. A third group would be against allowing "showy" religious symbols and a fourth would be pro allowing showy religious symbols. After we each had a few days and a few classes to meet with our group and discuss ideas on how to be able to fight for what we embodied, we had a debate in front of our classmates. Our classes in general are small which also helped our groups come to more frequent agreements. This particular debate interested/motivated me most because as cheesy as it sounds, I found myself. For years, I had been debating on what my dream to become when I grew up was, and during the debate I found my strength: to defend. I had never been an athletic person either but when I found out that there were no team cuts once you tried out for a sport, I tried out for soccer. I struggled in Mid-field and offense, but achieved in defense. In another school, without a doubt I could have not found an answer to my long-asked question. God put me here with a purpose no matter it being a big or small one, and I have never, nor will I ever, regret coming to an all girl's school because regret is wishing none of the past (in that situation) had happened.
(African American): My most memorable experience at [my school] would have to be during one of Mr. J’s' African American History lessons. We came in, sat down, and prepared for the lesson just like any other day, but that day's lesson influenced me more than I would have thought. We were discussing the attitudes towards Black women in the fields during slavery and why certain people were looked down upon for being civil towards them. These people did not have a Virginian background, meaning they weren't raised to disrespect and hate Blacks. These Whites treated the Blacks with respect, giving them a ranking resembling that of a slave. We chalked it all up to peer-pressure; how the thought of being different and out of the crowd seemed nearly tragic and unheard of. I enjoyed how everyone in the class came together as a united front to dissect and interpret the meaning behind peer-pressure. We are all subjected to it; we all identify it in everyday life. We outcast people in our minds without even realizing it. The lesson gave me great insight into not only myself but to my fellow peers. We discussed the power peer-pressure and social standing has on not only today's society, but past generations as well. This seemingly simple tenth-grade course gave me a greater understanding of life. I always refer to this lesson in more than just my writings; I use the information I have obtained in my other classes to help me formulate responses. I am truly grateful for this course and cannot wait to experience/ learn more as the year continues.
(European): An experience I have had in which I have felt highly motivated was during sophomore history. More specifically, I was motivated in creating various PowerPoints for the class. For the first part of the class, the England portion, students were asked to pick a subject from the Victorian Era in England, research it, and present a PowerPoint to the class. What made me so interested was that each of us was able to pick something that interested us. For example, I am interested in the field of medicine; thus I chose medicine in the Victorian Era as my topic. I was motivated in making my PowerPoint the best that it could be because we had to present to the class, so I wanted to make my information clear, precise, and look well on a screen. The PowerPoint also included research, which not only strengthened my research skills, but made the class very hands-on and interactive. I was excited to go to the library and do research as my homework because I was wanted to learn about my topic. We then shared each PowerPoint in class so I was able to gain all the information I needed about other topics without having to research them myself.
My 7th grade History class wiki project was a very effective tool for teaching students about historical events, which are not usually covered in an American history textbook. I selected 15 stories from Teaching Tolerance’s magazine, Us and Them, on events that happened within our country for study. The Wiki projects allowed four students to work together to research and produce a wiki site for study and comments from other students in the class. After researching each story, the girls produced the Wiki site and published each report. Other students were allowed to address questions and comments to the wiki site. All group members were then required to answer all additional questions and post comments in return to those who posted on their site. The following topics were included in the project:
1. The Silencing of Mary Dyer which addressed religious freedom.
2. Blankets for the Dead which addressed Native American removal.
3. "No Promised Land" which addressed the treatment of those of the Mormon faith.
4. "Harriet Jacobs Owns Herself" which addressed the issue of slavery.
5. "In the City of Brotherly Love" which addressed the issue of the treatment of the Irish.
6. "Home was a Horse Stall" which addressed the Japanese internment.
7. "The Ballad of Leo Frank" which addressed the treatment of the Jewish population.
Students were excited to produce their own Wiki's and to share them with other class members. They were also able to share their research with others.
(Latin America & Middle East): The classes that I have enjoyed the most here have been history of Latin America and history of the middle east. I found the subject matter very current and interesting. For example, my teacher would always discuss current events occurring in the middle east such as the Arab Spring and the death of Osama bin Laden. I really liked having class discussions like this that connected what we learned to modern day life. In both of these classes, the end of the semester assignment was a free choice research paper. I loved these assignments because I was able to choose anything I wished to explore that related to class material. I chose to write about the Exxon oil drilling in the Amazon rainforest as well as sharia. I felt this project allowed me to combine my outside interests in the environment and world culture with history, making it more exciting and engaging. My papers definitely sparked my interest to learn more.