Do not underestimate them!

Over the past week as I return back to school and and began the grind of finding ways to present information to my students.  As I was developing my lessons I came across a couple of articles that really made me stop and think.  The first article was about a 16 year old boy named Christian Owens.  Chris made his first million by the age of 16 years old by being creative and finding a niche in a market online and filling it with his own company.  This was a new and creative idea that he developed and is what education should be teaching our students today. To read more about Chris check out the article on him called “The First Million Dollar of a 16 Year Old Kid“.

The second article was on Adora Svitak.  She is a remarkable student from Redmond Washington who spoke at TED last year.  If you have not seen her talk of TED about what adults can learn about kids watch it below.  She is 13 now is a published author and now is organizing TEDXRedmond to  create a forum where more students can share their ideas.

Both of these students are remarkable but more importantly they are creative.  Often times when I am developing my lessons I catch myself  developing resources that are very structured for my students.  By doing this I am removing their ability to become creative and really learn to think for themselves.  I guess you would say that I am often underestimating my students ability to learn and be creative.  As educators we must find ways to allow students to be creative, push students to think outside of the box as these two have done.  If we truly want to prepare our students for the 21st century this is how we must do it.  We must above all not underestimate what students can do if you provide the opportunity.

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Augmented Reality Lesson Plan “History Detectives”

This assignment was created with Mscape and is played on window mobile 6.1 or higher devices. Since Mscape is going to be discontinued by HP I was hoping that someone out there could point me to another platform that I can use to create these type of learning environments.

Here are the programs I am aware of:

In this simulation students are in groups of two or three and each have a specific character that they select and play in the simulation. Also each character is vital to the overall game and students must discuss what they find at each location to correctly solve the mystery.

Storyline or topic:

Skeletal remains have been found in the back field of the school. Students will investigate the scene to discover what took place. As they investigate, they will learn that this event is a murder; however, it took place over 150 years ago. Their task is to discover what happened to this individual. While investigating the scene, they will gain valuable insights and an understanding of the conflict between Native Americans and white settlers in the mid 1850’s in the state of Washington. Through this process they will discover the 10 major reasons for conflict and gain insight from both perspectives. Students will conduct interviews, read journals, and hear native stories throughout the simulation. Like my last scenario, I will give the students a week to conduct the simulation and develop a presentation to present their findings and theories.

This project will consist of two to three people per group: an archeologist, detective, and a historian.  All the roles will be vital in the development of the groups overall theory. Each individual will be responsible for finding and developing key pieces of evidence to assist the group in developing their overall theory and game strategy during the simulation.

Archeologist: This role is responsible for dating the evidence and discovering the physical evidence of the scene. In a way they are setting the stage for the group.

Detective: He/she will take the information from the Archeologist and the Historian and piece together the events that occurred at the site.

Historian: This player will provide valuable insight to life of the times including opinions, feelings and biases.

As they work together, they will be able to put together what happened at this site and be able to draw inferences to the conflict that occurred throughout the rest of Washington State.

I have chosen three players, because it seems to work better for middle school students. It distributes the workload without overly taxing the individual student. This allows students to work collaboratively by assisting each other to discover the mystery behind the skeletal remains. Since the roles may overlap, I can have some students take on two roles, again, without overloading them. This will allow me to separate the class into groups, whether I have an odd or even number of students.

Curriculum standards are as follows: Based of Washington State Bench Marks

Social Studies:

4.3.1 Analyzes and interprets historical materials from a variety of perspectives in the state of Washington or world history.

4.3.2 Analyzes multiple causal factors that shape major events in the state of Washington or world history.

5.1.1 Understands evidence supporting a position on an issue or event.

5.1.2 Evaluates the breadth of evidence supporting positions on an issue or event.

5.4.1 Analyzes multiple factors, makes generalizations, and interprets primary sources to formulate a thesis in a paper or presentation.


2.2.1 Apply curiosity, honesty, skepticism, and openness when considering explanations and conducting investigations.

2.2.5 Know that ideas in science change as new scientific evidence arises.

3.1.3 Analyze multiple solutions to a problem or challenge.


1.1.2 Use models and simulations to explore systems, identify trends and forecast possibilities.

1.2.1 Communicate and collaborate to learn with others.

Analyze, synthesize and ethically use information to develop a solution, make informed decisions and report results.

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