Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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3. Utopian Promise   

3. Utopian

•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities
- Overview Questions
- Video
- Author
- Context
- Creative Response
- PBL Projects

Activities: Problem-Based Learning Projects

""How can I get my students to think?" is a question asked by many faculty, regardless of their disciplines. Problem-based learning (PBL) is an instructional method that challenges students to "learn to learn," working cooperatively in groups to seek solutions to real world problems. These problems are used to engage students' curiosity and initiate learning the subject matter. PBL prepares students to think critically and analytically, and to find and use appropriate learning resources." -- Barbara Duch, University of Delaware

  1. You are a Puritan missionary. You believe that God has called you on a sacred mission to convert Native Americans and to "propagate the gospel and kingdom of Christ" among them. Write up notes for yourself and your assistants delineating the aspects of Puritan theology that you think are most important to convey to the Indians. Outline how you will present and teach these concepts to them. Finally, compose a memo justifying your conversion practices to the group that funds and oversees your work, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.

  2. You are a Quaker missionary from Pennsylvania. You believe that God has called you on a sacred mission to convert the Puritans who live north of you in Massachusetts. Compose a journal entry to send to your Quaker congregation at home, explaining your reasons for undertaking this mission and noting the concepts you wish to teach the Puritans. Explain what you think is wrong with Puritan theology and Puritan social practices, and outline what kinds of alternatives Quakerism offers.

  3. You have been hired as the lawyer for Thomas Morton and the Mar-re-Mount community in the wake of the maypole incident. How will you defend them against the Puritan prosecution? Try to anticipate Puritan arguments as you compose your defense.

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