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9-12 | Social Studies | Real World Application or Field Study
Station WUSF in Florida
My Classroom Innovation
After watching the PBS Videos "America's Collection; Statue of Liberty" and "Forgotten Ellis Island” A group of 50 students left their homes in Hudson, FL to experience a once in a lifetime historic tour of the East Coast. "America's Collection: Statue of Liberty" and the www.pbs.org/teachers/connect/resources really helped hone our understanding of what the statue was. We also got to experience a view from the Statue’s pedestal and the breathtaking crown view. The PBS Video " Forgotten Ellis Island" explained what it was about and explained how this immigration center changed America. We spent time at the Smithsonian’s along with taking an illuminated tour of all of the popular sights and monuments to see in Washington D.C. The PBS Documentary "New York: the center of the world” made us want to see and experience New York City. We went to Times Square to see the difference in lifestyle from a highly populated urban center of trade and commerce like New York City, to our rural community of Hudson, Florida. Gettysburg was next, because we have been studying the American Civil War and wanted to see one of its most famous battlefields. This battle was a major turning point in the war. It had such a high death toll; they created the Gettysburg national cemetery in honor all of those brave soldiers that died. We were so interested in American History, next visited George Washington’s plantation to see how his life was. We also went to Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg where we got to have the complete colonial experience, and they even showed us how to properly introduce ourselves. After returning the students produced an educational video that was distributed to other schools in our county to demonstrate how PBS resources enhanced the project and increased student leaning gains.
How Students were Engaged
Incorporation of PBS Programming to Engage Students After studying chapters from the text book, Mr. Johnson’s AP Human Geography class had the opportunity to view the following PBS Videos Forgotten Ellis Island; The Congress; New York The Center Of The World; Statue of Liberty; The Civilian Conservation Corps. Students also furthered their research using the online resources available at the PBS Teachers website. These PBS programs were the catalysts for further research and discussion, eventually leading to the initiation, development, and implementation of this 7-day trip up and down the East Coast. Increasing Learning Gains The students took the presented material and applied their travel experiences and new understanding to produce an educational video that was shared with other schools throughout or district, and over 147,000 students. The students also excelled on standardized test in class. PBS Programming Helped Students Apply and Transfer the Knowledge/Skills Through this authentic learning experience students found the information they learned to be meaningful, relevant, and practical as they shared it with their peers. Traveling to these historic sites is an enriching and eye-opening adventure, where learning extends beyond the classroom walls. Many of the students say these trips are like stepping back in time. The dual enrollment and AP curriculums I teach are based on college models and vigorous academic rigor. It is the best way to help students gain in-depth knowledge and a real understand of our founding figures and cities. There is no substitute for visiting and studying the actual sites, documents, and museums that house our nations history. Many of ours student get jobs and save up all year to pay for these trips. As peer instructors, hosting students obtained a better command of the knowledge they received because they had to share this information with their peers.
PBS Program/Content Used
Forgotten Ellis Island; The Congress; New York The Center Of The World; Statue of Liberty; The Civilian Conservation Corps