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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5. Masculine Heroes   

16. The Search For Identity

•  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. It is 1975 and you belong to a local feminist group that has convinced many women to join your cause and actively promote women's rights. However, you have had less success recruiting men. Your job is to design a public relations campaign directed at young men. You need to convince them that feminism is not just a women's issue. Design a campaign--including a slogan, logo, pamphlet, and posters--that persuades young men to join their mothers, sisters, girlfriends, and friends in fighting for women's equality.

  2. You are a member of your school's drama club, and you want to produce David Mamet's play Glengarry Glen Ross. However, some members of the campus community (including parents and wealthy alumni, among them the drama club's most consistent financial contributor) oppose the play because it contains strong language and offensive slurs. Create a skit aimed at these opponents, explaining why you think the play is appropriate and asking for their support. To be persuasive, you may need to analyze Mamet's language and content for your audience.

  3. You are an artist who wants to paint a mural representing your neighborhood on the side of a local building. The building's owner has approved your plan and your design, except that she does not like your idea to incorporate existing graffiti into the mural. She thinks that the graffiti is vandalism and that it should be covered. Write a letter in which you convince her that the graffiti is actually art and that it is essential to your design.

  4. Imagine that you are a prominent urban planner and designer. Your city has decided to erect a memorial to the victims of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, and you have been hired to determine where to place the memorial and what it should look like, including its form, size, and any text that might be included. Prepare a report of your findings that you can present at the next city meeting. Include visual representations of your ideas to support your report.

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