In today’s practicum, I taught my Revolutionary Propaganda lesson to two other sections of students. This go-around was successful like the other day. These students are a grade above the other students, so some of them were able to come up with ideas for their propaganda poster quicker than others. However, I did check in with a lot of students, again, to give them direction. Many students just needed to focus on one specific stance to take (i.e., a Patriot propaganda piece could focus on the taxes the British imposed, a Loyalist propaganda piece could focus on the violence of the colonists). I think the students enjoyed the lesson, and I enjoyed watching them make creative and persuasive propaganda pieces.
After I did my lesson (about 50 minutes), my cooperating teacher showed students possible topics they could choose for an individual research project about the Revolution. They had been assigned this task for homework, but many didn’t put much thought into their choices and simply listed three names they could think of.
Today’s takeaway: Wording is important. Seen in all groups I taught this lesson to, some students had a hard time with the wording I gave them in regards to what stance they were taking. I used the terms “Pro-Revolution” and “Anti-Revolution”, really meaning “Patriot” and “Loyalist”. I should have just used those latter terms instead, as the students were more familiar with them because they had used them in previous classes. In my head, it was clear that pro-revolution meant patriot, or supporting American independence and that anti-revolution meant loyalist, or supporting Britain and the crown. Obviously, this wasn’t clear to everyone. I was able to clear it up for students when I checked in with them, but next time from the start I would be more conscientious of what terms I chose when labeling a specific kind of person or view, just to make it more clear and less confusing for students. This is a little thing, but is a big takeaway as I’m sure this kind of scenario will come up again and again in instruction.