Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sidewalk Chalk Art Review

By Jeff Burns

It’s the end of the year, and teachers are always searching for fun and meaningful ways to review material and prepare for those end of course tests, finals, and AP exams.  Why not take it outside and engage your students’ creativity in the process.

For a couple of years now, I have taken my AP US history classes outside to do sidewalk chalk review.  It’s simple and takes just a couple of periods.  First, I assigned each group one of the APUSH time periods. Their instructions were simple: design and create a sidewalk square that illustrates the most important themes, concepts, events, ideas, and people of the assigned period. They had one period to plan, and one period to draw. 

It doesn’t require much:  administrator’s permission and sidewalk chalk.  Dollar stores have cheap sidewalk chalk.  I got it for $1 a box at Dollar general.  Some students even brought their own.  Other useful tools that students brought included stiff dust brooms for erasing and spray water bottles. To get their best effort, I offered a replacement grade to the groups with the best squares, judged by the other US history teachers in my department.