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Implementing Critical Conversations: Digging Deep into History and Thinking Critically about our World. Danielle Hance – Lake Murray Elementary, Chapin, SC [email protected] PhD Candidate- Language and Literacy- USC TAHSC Participant 2007, 2008-2011 NBCT- Literacy October 24, 2008.

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Implementing Critical Conversations: Digging Deep into History and Thinking Critically about our World

Danielle Hance – Lake Murray Elementary, Chapin, SC

[email protected]

PhD Candidate- Language and Literacy- USC

TAHSC Participant 2007, 2008-2011

NBCT- Literacy

October 24, 2008


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Critical Conversations: What are they? History and Thinking Critically about our World

~ You may have heard of Inquiry Discussions (Jr. Great Books), Seminar Dialogue (Paideia), or Socratic Seminar before…

~ Critical conversations are essentially the same thing.

Our objective…

to get students to think critically, connect with history and the world around them, and engage in meaningful conversations.


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Critical Conversations: What do they look like? History and Thinking Critically about our World

~ All Students are engaged with one another.

~ The conversation is rich and varied.

~ They are exploring critical ideas deeply.

~ The teacher is initially a coach and a part-time participant, and becomes an observer.


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Critical Conversations: How do I begin? History and Thinking Critically about our World

~ Determine a theme, concept, text, photograph, poem, painting etc. that you would like the students to discuss critically.


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Big Ideas History and Thinking Critically about our World

~ You want to pick a topic that can be viewed from multiple angles and discussed critically.

~ Consider the why and what if questions in history, as well as the injustices.


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Analyze together History and Thinking Critically about our World

  • ~ Spend time as a class analyzing the artifact and discussing it for understanding.


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Answer on paper History and Thinking Critically about our World

~ Have them answer 2-3 critical thinking question on paper to prepare for the discussion.


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What should students know about engaging in critical conversations?

~ Students should be trained on how to…

~ Speak to the silence

~ Connect to the previous speaker

(I agree…, I see what “John” meant by…)

~ Politely disagree

(I see where “John” got that idea, but I thought…)

~ Participate but not dominate

~ Engage with one another and not look to the teacher


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Fishbowl it! conversations?

I would suggest using

The fish bowl method

The first time you

engage in a critical

conversation

with your class.

Half the class are participants and half are observers.


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Make it a habit! conversations?

~ When this sort of discourse is taught it become habit!

~ Students will begin to speak to the group, connect to others ideas, and think critically in other settings.


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My experiences… conversations?

~ I use a lot of picture books as a springboard to critical conversations.

~ We tend to engage in a formal critical conversation at the end of a social studies unit. The conversation serves as a synthesis of all that we have studied through the lens of critical questions.



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Studying Japanese Internment: conversations?Children’s Literature


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Studying Japanese Internment: conversations?Photographs

Ansel Adams created a book titled:

Born Free and Equal, Photographs of the Loyal Japanese-Americans at Manzanar Relocation Center



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Now you try conversations?

  • Review the preamble of the Constitution to jog your memory.

  • Record your thinking to this question…

    ~ Is the Constitution an elitist document?


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  • We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


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Questions or comments ? perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


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