In today’s practicum, the students began with a journal entry that asked them to write a letter to the British Parliament about their concerns over the Stamp Act. Then, the students shared information about different colonial taxes that they had gathered as homework for today, and the class as a whole began to discuss the famous acts that contributed to the tensions that led to the American Revolution (they were able to cover the Stamp Act, the Tea Act, and the Sugar Act). After finishing the notes on each tax, the students completed a Kahoot about the tax to reinforce the knowledge.
Today’s big takeaway: making the information relevant to students. My cooperating teacher did a really great job of that today. Before the students shared what they had learned about their assigned tax, their teacher took some time to explain how taxes work and really demonstrated to the students how this would affect their daily lives. She went around the room and took items from students, “demanding” 25 cents for them to have their possession back. The students seemed to really get the point of why the colonists would have reacted to taxes as they did. She explained how even though we are taxed today, we are given representation through electing officials who we hope will voice our concerns – the colonists, however, had taxation without any representation. I think that by connecting the content to the students themselves, and really forcing them to put themselves in the colonists’ shoes, my cooperating teacher was able to really get the message across. Students will be more likely to better remember that engaging, relevant part of the lesson rather than if they had only been told that the colonists were taxed without having a say. By making the information relevant, my cooperating teacher fulfilled the “so what?” question that teachers so often get when teaching history.