Friday, July 7, 2017

American History Idol

American History Idol

(Personalized Learning Pilot)
By: Nina Kendall 

What is American History Idol?
  • It is a personalized learning approach focused on music inspired inquiry and performance assessment to promote student learning, understanding of periodization, and student agency.
  • Activities are designed to use lyrics, audio clips, or videos segments to enhance student understanding and promote student use of 21st century skills
  • Student mastery is demonstrated via traditional assessment and mastery tasks.
What is the goal of American History Idol?
The goal of is to promote the use of historical thinking skills including periodization. Students used primary and secondary sources to investigate the period and inspire their demonstration of understanding. Engaging students with a balance of knowledge development and analytical opportunities allowed more chances for collaboration and creativity in class while promoting higher order thinking.   

What is Personalized Learning?
Personalized learning is a student-centered, individualized, self-directed learning experience that promotes content mastery and creates 21st critical thinkers, independent problem solvers and lifelong learners.

What is a playlist?
A playlist is a collection of activities that a student can complete to develop an understanding of a topic These activities can be completed in any order the student wishes, at their own pace over a set period of time ending in a summative assessment.  The playlist is serves as a progress monitoring tool for the student who guided by the teacher through completion of the multiple activities.  

What is a Mastery Task?
A mastery task is an opportunity for students to create a product that reflects deep understanding of the standards.  Products that can be use as mastery task include songs, liner notes, album covers, and concert posters. 

Sample Mastery Task

Forgotten Man Blues

Task: Write a song that shares the blues of the forgotten man that is at least 3 verses in length and has a chorus. Your song should include a description of the hardship of this period and the recovery efforts of the New Deal.

Forgotten Man Blues Inspiration
 “It is said that Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo because he forgot his infantry--he staked too much upon the more spectacular but less substantial cavalry. The present administration in Washington provides a close parallel. It has either forgotten or it does not want to remember the infantry of our economic army.
These unhappy times call for the building of plans that rest upon the forgotten, the unorganized but the indispensable units of economic power, for plans like those of 1917 that build from the bottom up and not from the top down, that put their faith once more in the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid. ”
-Franklin D. Roosevelt, The Forgotten Man, April 7, 1932

Liner Notes

World War II Liner Notes
Task: Design Liner Notes for a World War II Swing album using photographs or art from the time period.
        Select 5 photographs or images and list the artist with each image.
        Place explanatory text in a chart adjacent to each image. Title each section with a “song title.”
        At least one image should be accompanied by text written in verse form.
        Write an explanation of how each image illustrates one of the following:
        the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the internment of Japanese- Americans, German-Americans, and Italian-Americans.
        major events; include the lend-lease program, the Battle of Midway, D-Day, and the fall of Berlin.
        war mobilization, as indicated by rationing, war-time conversion, and the role of women in war industries.

Concert Posters

Recommended Elements in a Mastery Task
        Task goal: What will the work communicate? What should be demonstrated?
        Key Terms
        Options for point-of-view
        Authentic guidance for production
        Opportunities for feedback

Who can use the American History Idol model?
This model was used with 11th grade US History students from all learning levels from co-taught- AP US History.  

It is a model that any level could use with some modification to reflect the grade level in regards to the number of assignments given in the playlist and the requirements for the completion of the mastery task to meet the achievement level of the individual learner.  

What styles of music are appropriate?
Many music style can be used as long as it is appropriate for classroom use.  Some examples:
 Blues, Jazz- 1920- 1930s                               Big Band, Swing- 1940s
 Blues, Rock, Doo-Wop- 1950s                     Rock, Motown, Folk-1960s
 Acid Rock, Punk, Disco- 1970s                    Rock, Country, Metals-1980s
 Rap, Grunge, Hip-Hop, Pop-1990s               Rock, Pop, Rap, Country-2000s