Showing posts with the label christmas

3 Videos to Use During the Holidays in the ELA Class

Yes, I know it’s March.  But I just found my PowerPoint and so I’m sharing now. 1. History vs. Christopher Columbus by Alex Gendler Why do we still celebrate this holiday?  This animated TED ED talk goes into what’s not taught in elementary school about Columbus.  Cliff Notes: he was a bad dude. 2. Can Art Amend History? By Titus Kaphar So I teach a lesson about the first Thanksgiving.  Days 1-3 delve into the English version of the holiday and what most people believe about Thanksgiving.  Days 4 and 5 discuss the Native American perspective, which isn’t discussed enough.  This TED asks the question: Can we learn about the unpleasantness of our history through art?  Is it more palatable to digest that way?  Super entertaining talk. 3. Black Friday: An Accident of History by Hank Green Not technically a TED Talk, but it’s good.  Hank Green talks about Black Friday and its origins.  We all get a little preachy about the meaning of Christmas (vs. the commerc

'Tis the Season

We had three weeks this month: the first week was taken up by STAAR retesting.  The third week was all about semester exams.  This left me with only the second week of December for anything instructional.  It also meant that December was going to be a themed WEEK instead of a themed MONTH. What better than the true meaning of Christmas!? [ DAY 1 AND 2: FREEWRITE AND ARTICLE ] I first posed the question:  What is the true meaning of Christmas?   I made sure to tell the kids that there was no right or wrong answer; I only wanted to know their opinion.  Then I gave them some guidelines: They had to write for 5 minutes. Their answers had to be thoughtful. They needed to write at least three sentences (I know… I know… but for some of these kids writing is torture.). Then we shared out.  And oh boy.  Most answers included presents, spending time with family, and getting time off from school.  I did have one kid explain that Christmas wasn’t about presents, but about char