Monday, April 25, 2016

"T" is for Taxonomy -- The "A, B, C"s for Christian Schools; 26 Topics We Have the Opportunity to Teach Our Students

Teaching should consist of more than just the imparting of facts and knowledge after about the 2nd grade, in our opinion anyway.  We believe that from 3rd grade on up students are capable of rising to a higher level on Bloom's Taxonomy.  And we want our students to think, reason, and be able to eventually make good decisions based on God's truth.   To do that, they need to be able to think.

On a more practical level, here is an example of using Bloom's Taxonomy for a lesson on westward expansion for various grades,  going up one level on the taxonomy each time.

Knowledge  -  Present the lesson; read the textbook.  The pioneers loaded up their wagons and headed west to get cheap or free land.  (I must add that I would also find time to read Little House in the Big Woods & Little House on the Prairie.)

Comprehension  -- Why did the pioneers want to move further west?  What dangers did they encounter?  What did they eat?  What kind of houses did they build?

Application  -- Why do people today want to move to different areas?  If you had to load up to move and only take one big suitcase, what would you take with you?  

Analysis --   Give examples of different kinds of people who moved west.  What were their jobs?  What was their main motivation for moving?  If you had lived back then, would you have wanted to move?  Why?

Synthesis -- Were the settlers usually fair to the Native Americans they encountered when they moved further west?  Can you give examples of some who were fair, and some who were not?  Discuss the reasons why the two groups behaved differently.  Who got their way in the end and why? (Now I would read White Feather to the elementary students and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee to the older students.)

Evaluation/Creating -- Form a "wagon train" with the following people in your class (list of 8 classmates).  Elect a leader and assign or vote on jobs for everyone in the group.  Decide where you would like to settle and give reasons for your decision.  Develop and sign a written agreement regarding how you will treat any Native Americans you may encounter on your move.  Make a shopping list of how much food you will need and which supplies you will need to bring.   Decide how to deal with the following situations once you are on the trail:
death of both oxen pulling a wagon
loss of an entire wagon and its contents
death of a child
river crossings
running out of food
two leaders disagreeing

Present your decisions as a power point presentation to the class.  This can be done in one of three timeframes:  before you start on your trip, halfway through your trip, or at the end of your trip.  You will receive extra points for any additional information you present or work that you do.   (Dress your part, make a model of a wagon train, tell about a certain situation and how you handled it in first-person, present a short speech, or anything else creative you would like to add to your presentation.)