For my 8th grade U.S. history class we just finished the early to mid 1800s. In the unit we looked at the divergent paths of the North/South. We also started to look at the institution of slavery and how it developed to be so important in the south. After our final assessment, I took a few days to introduce the notion of modern-day slavery. The students were actually quite educated on the matter and named many issues that constitute slavery today. They named child labor, prostitution, farm labor, and others as examples of slavery today. I then had student groups research one area of modern-day slavery that struck them the most. In class today the assignment was to bring awareness to the issue of their choice. To do this students blogged, wordled, gloged, and power pointed. The intro lesson, research, and production all was done within two fifty minutes class periods and the students produced some very neat ways of making us aware to these issues. As social justice issues are something I am passionate about, it was special to see my students engaged and eager to try and make change. Furthermore, I think this type of social education has an important part in the curriculum to create relevance and expose students to reasons we study history.
I have collected their works and links on a Typewith.me document and I invite you to share and use with your class. Let us know what you think.
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