Then and Now; Drama to Assess Learning

We continued our mind-mapping activity from yesterday with a little drama piece as a form of assessment.  Drama is one of my favorite tools to use for assessment.  Kids love it, it makes them excited, and you can really see who knows the content and who doesn't.

The central question that we have been looking at this week was Why did the population of the Earth explode in the last 200 years?  Our mind-maps from yesterday helped us sort out a variety of reasons.  Today, we focused on three; Advances in Medicine, Advances in Farming Technique, and Advances in Transportation.  We made a large class mind map and made connections between the three reasons.  Our discussion was lively and in-depth.

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After that, they broke off into groups, one of each topic.  They had to write a short skit from two perspectives; from 400 years ago, and from now.  These two skits would compare a common problem that people might have had.  For example, the medicine team chose to talk about someone who was in an accident 400 years ago versus today.

Once we had our skits made, we got out some cardboard and made some puppets!  They then had to present their skit, using the puppets and backgrounds that they made.  We videotaped the presentations and I will edit it all together as a movie.

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I was looking for an ability to describe how a difficult situation in the past would have led to many deaths and suffering, when a similar situation in our current time is more easily solved.  To that end, it was a successful lesson, and drama really helped bring it out.

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