Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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LINK: Social Studies in Action Home Image of a middle school student.
LINK: Population and Resource Distribution Home
LINK: About the Class
Watching the video
LINK: Connecting to Your Teaching
LINK: Standards
LINK: Resources

Watching the Video

Image of a notebook with the following text displayed: Reflect: As you reflect on these questions, write down your responses or discuss them in a group.

Before You Watch
Respond to the following questions:

  • What are the challenges and benefits of teaching provocative issues like inequities in the distribution of resources?
  • What are the advantages of using simulations and role-playing as classroom strategies?
  • What are some teaching strategies you use to help students relate abstract concepts to their own lives?

Watch the Video
As you watch "Population and Resource Distribution," take notes on Ms. Forristal's instructional strategies, particularly how she prepares, implements, and debriefs the simulation. Write down what you find interesting, surprising, or especially important about the teaching and learning in this lesson.


Reflecting on the Video
Review your notes, then respond to the following questions:

  • What struck you about the classroom climate, background, preparation, strategies, and materials used in this lesson?
  • What concepts were students learning? How do these concepts relate to one another and to Ms. Forristal's goals for the unit?
  • What did you notice about how Ms. Forristal conducted the simulation?
  • How is this class different from yours? How might you introduce these concepts to your own students?

Looking Closer
Let's take a second look at Ms. Forristal's class to focus on specific teaching strategies. Use the video images below to locate where to begin viewing.

Ms. Forristal in her class.
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Predicting Lifestyle from Data: Video Segment
Go to this segment in the video by matching the image (to the left) on your video screen. You'll find this segment approximately 2 minutes into the video. Watch for about 5 minutes.

The students are given arm bands that contain statistics about their assigned region. They begin to discuss what these statistics imply about how they will live as residents of the region. They move into their assigned regions and begin to make observations.

  • What does Ms. Forristal do to introduce the simulation and get students engaged?
  • What evidence do you see that the students are engaged and are assuming the roles of people living in specific regions?
  • How does Ms. Forristal keep the lesson focused and moving forward? What are some of the specific strategies she employs to keep students on task?
  • What do you notice about how Ms. Forristal uses questions, summary statements, and supplementary information?
Ms. Forristal addressing her class.
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Regions, Population, and Resource Distribution: Video Segment
Go to this segment in the video by matching the image (to the left) on your video screen. You'll find this segment approximately 17 minutes into the video. Watch for about 4 minutes.

The student leaders in each region receive symbols representing food, energy, and wealth to distribute among the people living in their region. Students share insights they have gained from the simulation, and then debrief, offering their own points of view.

  • What can Ms. Forristal learn from the answers and insights offered by her students?
  • What does Ms. Forristal do to encourage students to consider an issue from several perspectives?
  • What do students take away from the debriefing? How might Ms. Forristal build on their learning in future lessons?
  • What would you have added, either to the simulation or to the debriefiing?

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