Nationalism and World Geography

As we saw with Tori McDonough’s previous post on Gender Equality, there are a number of different ways in which to utilize oral histories in the classroom. Continuing with the non-traditional lesson plan format, I have chosen to write a flipped lesson plan for tackling the concepts of immigration and nationalism as well as world geography. A flipped lesson plan involves delivering content outside of the classroom and reinforcing that information through classroom activities. For more information on this type of lesson here is a Teacher’s Guide to the Flipped Classroom.

A flipped lesson plan allows students the opportunity to access content at their own pace, allowing for teachers to spend valuable classroom time pursuing interactive learning activities designed to promote deeper understanding of the content. Flipping the classroom is a good strategy when using oral histories because it gives students more time with the content. Students can listen and relisten to the story clip in order to make a more detailed analysis of it. Having students access the content on their own time eliminates classroom time constraints, allowing for longer interview clips and prolonged engagement with the sources. Flipping the lesson also allows teachers the opportunity to provide more personalized attention to students during classroom time. The classroom thus becomes more active and engaging than the traditional lecture lesson plan.

This particular flipped lesson plan meets the following standards from the Ohio Department of Education Social Studies curriculum:

  • Modern World History Content Statement #4: Historians analyze cause, effect, sequence and correlation in historical events, including multiple causation and long- and short-term causal relations.
  • Modern World History Content Statement #19: Treaties and agreements at the end of World War II changed national boundaries and created multinational organizations.
  • Modern World History Content Statement #23: The break-up of the Soviet Union ended the Cold War and created challenges for its former allies, the former Soviet republics, Europe, the United States and the non-aligned world.
  • World Geography Content Statement #8: Physical, cultural, economic, and political factors contribute to human migrations (e.g. drought, religious conflicts, job opportunities, immigration laws).

In this lesson plan, students will be listening to story clips from Roman Zorska and Bill Leshinetsky, both of which relate stories of immigration and nationalism. Other sources included in this lesson plan are the Crash Course YouTube video entitled Samurai, Daimyo, Matthew Perry and Nationalism and the website Making the History of 1989. These sources serve to flesh out the concept of nationalism and provide background information for classroom activities. Classroom activities include brainstorming motivations for immigrating, exploring maps and globes to gain an understanding of geographical spaces, and identifying personal stories of immigration and nationalism to create personal connections to the content. The lesson will conclude with students separating into groups and creating posters detailing their understanding of the material that has been covered.

This lesson plan is available as a PDF download.

Stay tuned for more from our blog series, as Tori and I begin to outline the best practices for using oral histories in the classroom. If you have any comments, feedback, or questions about this lesson plan send me at tweet @CPMorris13 or leave them in the comments section below.

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  1. Bill Leshinetsky on Refugee Experience in World War II | History Speaks - August 18, 2015

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