Monday, February 18, 2013

Think Outside the Box – Creating Virtual Cubes about the Civil Rights Movement

Made with Picture Cube
I can’t believe we’re already more than half way through February.  I had planned to have a series of short posts outlining lesson ideas for African American History Month, but I’ve gotten busy and here we are over half way through the month and I’ve yet to post any of these ideas.  I’m still going to try to post some of these ideas and hopefully they will still be useful.
Today’s lesson idea is actually one that I have not tried yet in class.  I subscribe to Richard Byrne’s blog Free Tech 4 Teachers (which is a great source of free resources for teachers), this week Richard posted about Brainy Box.  Brainy Box is an online presentation tool that allows users to create a six sided cube that can include text, images, videos, or links.  As I was reading Richard’s post about Brainy Box it brought to mind cube foldables, which I have used a couple of times in the past as a form of graphic organizer that allows students to record information in more of a hands-on way.  Brainy Box allows for the creation of a virtual foldable.  
I envision using Brainy Box to study key events from the civil rights movement.  I think I will assign small groups of students different events from the civil rights movement, such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Integration of Central High in Little Rock, Sit-ins, Freedom Rides, Integration of the University of Mississippi, the March on Washington, and the March from Selma to Montgomery.  Each group will be responsible for gathering information on their assigned event and recording who was involved, what happened, where the event occurred, when the event took place, why the event took place (the cause), and how it affected the push for civil rights (the effect).  Along with the who, what, where, when, why, and how information that students gather, they will also find images to incorporate into their cubes.
My goal in this lesson idea is to allow students to practice gathering important information to learn about key historical events.  I think the use of Brainy Box will help to pique student interest as it is a new tool that students will perceive as more interesting than creating paper foldable cubes.

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