For this 100-minute history lab, students will visit 11 stations and formulate their own answer to the essential question: What was the greatest impact of the printing press? Was it an increase in knowledge? Did it accelerate European exploration? Did it stimulate the Protestant Reformation? Did it promote literacy? At the stations, students will examine sources that include a magazine articles, maps, videos, and even a Twitter page. Afterwards, they will participate in a Socratic Seminar to prepare them to write their argumentative essay.
To prepare the stations, you just have to:
1. Print Exhibits for each station. I print 4 each so that each within the 4-member student group can read along. I print them on card stock and in color. Two stations require videos: Exhibit 1 - Reformation and the Printing Press and Exhibit 6 - Bill Nye Video "Greatest Invention - The Printing Press. Make sure you download them. Or if your students have iPads, you can always use QR Codes. I have QR codes placed on the evidence for those exhibits so that students can use their iPads and a QR Code Reader app to access to videos.
I place them in big envelopes and place a Sticker that identifies the evidence on each envelope. I purchased sticker printer paper from Amazon.
2. Copy a Student Journal for each student.
3. To start the history lab with your class, take them through the PowerPoint and the attachments that go within the presentation: Timer, and the Survivor History Lab Trailer.
4. With collaboration at the forefront of my mind, I design the labs to require no intervention on my end. Students rotate through the stations. They become used to hearing the bell at the end of the timer that signals its time to move and they move to the next station without prompting.
Because they are able to collaborate and do the work completely independent of me, I am able to focus on their collaboration techniques. I listen for their use of the Collaborative Roles and give them feedback and assess their collaboration using the Collaboration Scoring Guide.
FUN TWIST: At times, I make this a fun challenge by giving the group the collaborates the best hats or a trophy of some sort. Throughout the lab, I'll move the trophy or hats to the group that is doing really well collaborating. The group that is in possession of the trophy or hats at the conclusion of the lab, wins a small prize.