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This is our lesson for Exercising Civic Responsibility: Interviewing public officials in the community. It ties in who our public officials actually are, what they do, how media helps (or hurts) their job performance, and what is civic responsibility.
This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 2, as of 2013-12-31.
I'm usually not the biggest fan of service learning activities, but I like how groups will create children books after interviewing public officials. I thought it was good how you provided time in the lesson for students to research different officials and were required to tell the teacher what questions they came up with. The one potential issue I may have with this lesson is the accessibility of conducting interviews with multiple city officials. Due to time restrictions from these officials, it may turnout that a local official can only speak to the whole class instead of specific groups. Regardless, this lesson could easily be adapted. Great job guys!
Alton and Eric,
Nice job guys! What I thought was really great about this lesson was the children’s storybook. The fact that you guys focused on how important it is for the older generation to teacher the younger generations the importance of civics is an awesome idea. In the 7th grade classroom I think this would be most effective because students at this age really like to be considered “grown up” and I think this gives them more responsibility to give something back, which at 12 and 13 years old they really seem to enjoy. The only suggestion I have is that it might also be effective to give student a list of certain website to find information about their official, so that students are not tempted to get off track during their research. Overall, Excellent Job!
I am a big fan of the children's book aspect of this lesson. While the interview with an elected official offers an students a chance to learn from an authentic source, I feel that the creation of an artifact will allow students to form a better connection to the material. I like the breakdown of the children's book creation process as well, but I feel that there should still be more detail about what to be expected from the students since they may still have lots of questions about what the teacher expects. Maybe include what expectations for drawing, or images, or writing requirements the students need to aim for so that they aren't left guessing.
Structurewise, I like the lesson plan, it is clear and articulate. Someone can replicate it. AS for the flow of it, I like how it starts out small witht he concept and more academic thinking, into actual hands on applying the skills. The students learn a concept, research it, do it, and then reflect. The content and theme is a good one aswell. teaching students to be good civic citizens is key. Also , I like the choice you gave them. The students choose the topic they are interested in. That definately boosts their motivation. Practicing contacting their government officials and interviewing them gets them to practice skills they probably won't know they are practicing until they do it as adults. From a media stand point, I like the use of skype to contact the officials. It is a great cost-effective way of achieving the skills. One thing that may throw a monkey wrench in your plans is the availability of the officials. The lesson may ahve to be borken up, such as the closing activities may ahve to be done several days after they were palnned to happen. You already took that into account though.. Great job!