Imagination+Imagery+Combined Disciplines= Effective Teaching
Michelle shared a history lesson about the Japanese invasion of the Aleutian islands; she used beautiful black and white photos to guide our conversation and require us to use problem solving skills to discern what had happened. The photos were very powerful, and I could see this being very effective in the classroom. The students get to be detectives, combining imagination and common sense to deduce the story behind the photo.
Scott shared a book he had his students put together in Nikiski. The students shared everything from poetry to statistics, and sought material throughout the community. His students pulled skills from multiple disciplines and were allowed to showcase their own creativity and feeling.
I think both of these lessons demonstrate effective teaching and culturally responsive teaching. Michelle’s lesson started opened with photos and then built on personal knowledge instead of what the teacher already know, or what the teacher expected students to already know. Scott’s lesson allowed students to build their own experiences and use academic subjects to reflect on their community, as they experience it.