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Showing Eamonn O'Brien

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EAMONN O'BRIEN
Second Place

6-8 | Social Studies | Video Production

Station KQED in California

My Classroom Innovation

Using their textbooks and PBS's Egypt's Golden Empire, students were divided into groups and asked to identify key pieces of information about the social pyramid in Egypt, and then report back to their peers as part of a jigsaw. The reporting mechanism required each student to utilize a piece of software or technique that they did not feel they were proficient at. Students were free to choose any reporting format that could be projected through an LCD projector. Furthermore, students were graded on the information, not on the success (or failure) of their presentation.

How Students were Engaged

Students were extremely engaged in the process, both in the researching of the information, as well as in the development of their presentations. They were willing to take risks on their presentation projects in trying new things because they were required to create a backup written document, so that if the entire project blew-up, they could still present the information. Because of their deep personal investment in the project, the students retained the information and are able to utilize for further understanding. In addition, because of the uniqueness of their peers presentations (owing to the risks they were willing to take), they also retained the information presented by their peers. In terms of application of knowledge, students practiced practical applications of 21st century skills including problem solving, information processing and collaborative work with peers, as well as creativity.

PBS Program/Content Used

Egypt's Golden Empire