3 R's: Revolution, Reaction and Reform
Lesson Objective: Reach a deep understanding of complex, abstract concepts
Grade 4 / Social Studies / Key Concepts

Thought starters

  1. How can the 'Quick Write" be used to activate prior knowledge and as a pre-assessment?
  2. What is the purpose of "I see, I think, I wonder"?
  3. How does the wide variety of photos help students understand the various meanings of revolution?
39 Comments
This was amazing. It is wonderful to help students bridge their concepts to more complex vocabulary and attach meaning. I love the movement and interaction between the students. This is the basis of understanding complex text, in an exciting way!
Recommended (3)
it was good. i liked it. Congratulations Mrs. Dimaggio
Recommended (0)
WOW! Although I teach first grade, I can see how these fantastic engagement opportunities can expand children's thinking at all levels. Your classroom is buzzing with learning and excitement FOR learning...I LOVE this!
Recommended (0)
That was great! Thank you.
Recommended (0)
Hi I 'm Korean, It's different from our educational ways.
Recommended (0)

Transcripts

  • Luna Productions
    Transcript
    Social Studies Essentials: The Three R's
    http://vimeo.com/35352921
    January 21, 2012

    Video begins

    Title Card:
    Social Studies Essentials

    James Madison

    Luna Productions
    Transcript
    Social Studies Essentials: The Three R's
    http://vimeo.com/35352921
    January 21, 2012

    Video begins

    Title Card:
    Social Studies Essentials

    James Madison Elementary School / Classroom with Heather and her students / drum roll

    Vimeo TC: 00:11

    Narration:
    Over the course of two days, Heather Dimaggio introduces her students to three new words. They are key social studies concepts that her students will return to through out the year and probably the rest of their lives. Ms. Dimaggio calls them the 3 R’s. But they might not be the R’s you’re thinking of.

    Heather Dimaggio:
    Sometimes, people think the 3 R’s are reading, writing and arithmetic. But, in 4th grade, at James Madison, its revolution, reaction, and reform.

    Music up… Classroom: “Repeat after me: Revolution! Revolution! Reaction! Reaction! Reform! Reform!”

    Title Card:
    The Three R’s: Revolution, Reaction, Reform

    Heather in classroom with students

    Narration:
    On this first day, the class will be looking at two of the words: revolution, and reaction.

    Heather writes the words on the board

    Narration:
    Even for 9 and 10 year-olds, these complex words are rich with meaning. So, instead of just giving them the definitions, Ms. Dimaggio asks them to define the words on their own during a quick open-ended writing exercise called a quick-write.

    Heather asks the kids to do a quick-write about Revolution and Reform.

    Heather Dimaggio:
    The quick-write is really used to stimulate their thinking. To have them take a moment and just kind of process their own thoughts. Just kind of… chew on it.

    Heather in classroom, “Write as much as much as you can of what ever comes to your mind, what ever you think you know about them…”

    Narration:
    After four minutes, she has them share their answers with each other.

    Heather to class “I want you to talk in your table teams.” / Students share their work with each other. / Students work with the word reaction

    Vimeo TC: 02:40

    Heather Dimaggio:
    Once they have a chance to share amongst each other, then they share out to the whole class.

    Many students share work with class

    Heather Dimaggio:
    Each of the concepts have so many modalities in terms of their meanings.

    Heather talks to class about their shares

    Heather Dimaggio:
    So. Trying to bring some larger terms down to a 9 year-old level to get to a point where they can apply it.

    Music up… Heather talks to class about pictures on board, table teams

    Vimeo TC: 03:57

    Narration:
    To dig deeper into these tough concepts, Miss Dimaggio gets her students up and moving. They will rotate around the classroom, responding to images that she has posted on the walls.

    Heather talks to class. They do “I see, I think, I wonder” activity / music up …students walk to board and participate in the activity

    Heather Dimaggio:
    For a 9 and 10 year-old to be able to grasp it, they have to be able to engage in it. And interact in it. And use all their senses. This is just one way to get them completely physically involved in their mind, their body, so that they can really grasp the concepts.

    Heather blows whistle. Exercise ends.

    Narration:
    Each poster illustrates one of the many definitions of revolution or reaction.

    Heather Dimaggio:
    So, one was of the American Revolutionary War.

    Students around poster discussing

    Narration:
    At this early stage, students aren’t always sure whether it’s a revolution, a reaction, or a little of both. But for Ms. Dimaggio that’s just fine. Now is the perfect time to dive in and explore these big ideas.

    Heather Dimaggio:
    I wanted for them to really understand, revolution is not just a war. And so, another poster was of activism that’s taken place with in our country with different groups of people.

    Poster of activism related clippings. Heather talks to them about activism poster.

    Heather Dimaggio:
    Another poster was of technology and how it’s changed from an old typewriter to today’s laptops, from an old phone to today’s cell phone.

    Kids discuss pictures.

    Heather Dimaggio:
    And so each poster represented a different definition that we were going to walk through as a whole class.

    Heather explains piece of paper on their desks. We see the work sheets on screen.

    Narration:
    With the students back in their seats, Ms. Dimaggio provides the formal definitions they’ll be using for revolution and reaction. She hands out graphic organizers that list the definitions, and have spaces to write down examples as well as any personal connections the students might have to the words.

    Students read definitions.

    Narration:
    One by one, the class reviews each definition. After all the definitions are read, Ms. Dimaggio asks the students to decide with definition fits best with each of the posters on the walls. Here’s just one example of a conversation that emerged.

    Heather asks class about the poster of technological advances. Class answers with show of hands. They go over definitions. We see definitions on screen. They decide it’s a revolution in technology.

    Vimeo TC: 08:33

    Heather Dimaggio:
    I really want the kids to have a good understanding of what each of the concepts are, and the different modalities of each one. That, revolution has 2 ways of looking at it. And it comes not just in wars and politics, but it also comes along music, and technology.

    Heather asks class about difference between the different kinds of revolutions.

    Heather Dimaggio:
    Why would I bring this into a 4th grade classroom? Because, why not raise the bar? The kids of every academic level can reach these goals. Every child, as long as they have the right scaffolding and foundation and support, they can attain this higher level of thinking, um, and building and applying. So, why not?

    Heather asks students what they learned today.

    Heather Dimaggio:
    The goal is to prepare them for college. I’m not preparing them for 5th grade. I’m preparing them for things greater and farther in their future. And the building blocks start now.

    Vimeo TC: 09:57

    Fade to white. Students arrive to classroom. Heather asks them to take out their journals.

    Narration:
    The next day, the class takes on the last of the 3 R’s: reform.

    Heather asks them what they think reform is.

    Heather Dimaggio:
    Reform is essential because reform has happened in the past, but reform is happening now, today.

    Narration:
    Just like yesterday, the students do a quick-write, and then share their best guesses about what this new word means.

    Students share their work.

    Narration:
    But today, Ms. Dimaggio adds something new.

    “I want you to write down if there’s anything that you could change at James Madison Elementary.”

    Narration:
    She makes it personal by asking students to write down changes they would like to see at their school.

    Heather tells them to do their quick-write

    Narration:
    She’s taking an abstract concept like reform, and making it relevant to their every day lives.

    Heather Dimaggio:
    Personal connections are so important to learning. If it’s something that they can connect to themselves, it’s something that they can really have a much stronger grasp on.

    Students share their ideas.

    Heather Dimaggio:
    They had some great things that came out: from equipment, to safety issues, to funding issues and materials.

    Narration:
    As students share their ideas, Ms. Dimaggio pushes them to justify why they think their reforms would benefit the school.

    Heather Dimaggio:
    I’m always asking them to justify. Because, reform is not just: I want this and so it will be. It’s much bigger than that.

    Students justify their ideas.

    Heather Dimaggio:
    They had to really justify and show how would it be a true reform for the benefit of all of us?

    Heather hands out newspapers.

    Narration:
    For the final activity, Ms. Dimaggio challenges her students to find examples of revolution, reaction, or reform in that morning’s newspaper.

    Heather Dimaggio:
    I love just the hands on, and the physical engagement. Just giving them the opportunity to handle it. Look at it. Engage with it. They need that time to explore. I love to see them thinking for themselves, and trying to pull out information. They’re engaging on their level. And they’re getting excited.

    Kids with newspapers decipher how news about Kadafi is related to the 3 R’s.

    Heather Dimaggio:
    This is all an opportunity for me to introduce as much as I can. I don’t expect them to understand it, and they’re not going to understand it right away. But it will be the foundation piece that everything else will build on.

    Music

    Vimeo TC: 14:02

    Narration:
    As they wrap up this introductory lesson, about the 3 R’s, students file away their definition sheets in special yellow folders. They will return to these 3 words through out the year; a shared vocabulary that Ms. Dimaggio believes is essential for social studies.

    Heather wraps up lesson before lunch. The yellow books will go in their social studies folders.

    Heather Dimaggio:
    For me, the 3 R’s are foundational. They’re foundational for what we’re doing in 4th grade; they’re foundational for what they’re doing in middle school and high school. They’re foundational in terms of being informed as adults. They’re able to have discussions that are far more productive and valuable. And it just takes the learning to a whole-nother level. And, that’s what we want. We want thinkers. We want to have thinkers in today’s world.

    Title Card:
    Tch Teaching Channel

School Details

Madison Elementary School
14751 Juniper Street
San Leandro CA 94579
Population: 408

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