Teaching: Articles and lesson plans

Does my vote count? Teaching the electoral college

Students will learn about the electoral process and its history through reading, research, and discussion. They will then convene a constitutional convention to debate altering this process. Includes a tutorial for students explaining how the electoral college works, the origins and development of the electoral college as some controversial elections, and how much any one vote actually “weighs” in an election.

Evaluating multimedia presentations

A PowerPoint presentation is just another form of communication, and the same rules apply to multimedia that apply to writing or verbal communication. This article offers guidelines for using and assigning multimedia presentations in the classroom and includes a rubric based on the Five Features of Effective Writing.

Higher order thinking with Venn diagrams

Graphic organizers are powerful ways to help students understand complex ideas. By adapting and building on basic Venn diagrams, you can move beyond comparison and diagram classification systems that encourage students to recognize complex relationships.

Rethinking reports (with Melissa Thibault)

Creative research-based assignments provide alternatives to the President Report, Animal Report, and Famous Person Report that ask students to think about old topics in new ways, work collaboratively, and develop products that support a variety of learning styles.

Science as a verb (with Amy Anderson

Inquiry science requires active relationships between students, teachers, and science. Building these relationships is a three-step process that involves thinking about inquiry as a process of science, as a pedagogical strategy, and as a set of skills and behaviors to encourage in students.

Think for yourself! Media literacy every day

Information, like air, is everywhere, and we breathe it in whether we mean to or not. If we want our students to be rational, responsible citizens and consumers, we have to help them develop a filter they can use all the time, not just when they’re doing research.