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Men Who Built America

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Keywords: chrome, book, chromebook, video, discussion, live-tweet, live, tweet, Google, Sites, Google-Sites,
Subject(s): Social Studies, History
Grade 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Malvern Junior High School, Malvern, AR
Planned By: Tai Nishiuchi
Original Author: Tai Nishiuchi, Malvern
Students will first begin on their bell ringer: If you want to become a Millionaire, what should you do?
While answering their bell ringer, students should be logging into their chrome books and loading their gmail which will direct them to a Google Site I've created with their discussion board.

Students will watch 30 minutes of episode 1 of "The Men Who Built America" all the while answering discussion board questions and creating topics of their own.
The questions are divided by pages on the site, so students will be directed to go to certain pages at certain moments, but then will be free to explore different discussion areas.

List of Questions: Who does Vanderbilt remind you of? Do you feel bad for Vanderbilt for getting tricked? Are the protagonists of this show good guys or bad guys? Who is your favorite of the men who built America? Who is your favorite of the commentators? What was the most surprising moment thus far?

After the video, students will transition into a Google Form that assesses their comprehension of the video that they've watched and they will answer an open response intended to have them reflect on the information they've been presented with.
I currently have a set of Chromebooks, and my school is doing what they can to get our students more technology. The class sizes at our school exceed that of our technology supply and we're constantly having to send 3 or 4 students on adventures to find technology that will let them complete their assignments. Any number of chromebooks that we can acquire help to ensure that our students get the best education possible.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
I work with several departments implementing technology. I am currently working with our video editing team (as a part of our EAST initiative) to create our own original content that serves both educational and entertainment purposes. DIY Science labs hosted by students, round table political discussions led by students, reviews of movies/games/music by students, many more across many different curriculum.
This is a unit that I created last year that proved to be the most successful thing I've ever done. Student engagement is through the roof and their discussion, when guided by a teacher, lets students discover deeper elements in the content. This lesson is really a rinse and repeat type of thing. They're constantly being presented with new material that they discuss and then are given an assessment over the material.
Materials: Mobile Labs, CDs and DVDs, Social Studies
Other Items: 20 Chrome books, $200 each, total of $4000.00