Thursday, December 22, 2011

Case Law Cartoons

This week my 7th grade social studies students created short cartoons to illustrate real-life examples of how important Supreme Court rulings affect students. Students used our GoAnimate for Schools classroom account.  Summaries of major Supreme Court decisions were provided by Scholastic's New York Times Upfront magazine.

Below is an example illustrating the case Vernonia School District v. Acton (1995).  The issue was about student athletes and mandatory drug testing.  The Supreme Court sided with the school.

Below is an example illustrating the case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District (1969). The issue was about dress codes. The Supreme Court stated that you have the right to express yourself - up to a point.

Below is an example illustrating the case Grutter v. Bollinger (2003). The issue was about affirmative action. The Supreme Court stated that colleges can use race as a factor in admissions.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

TeachUNICEF Podcasts

About TeachUNICEF: The mission of TeachUNICEF is to “support and create well-informed global citizens who understand interconnectedness, respect and value diversity, have the ability to challenge injustice and inequities and take action in personally meaningful ways.” Their homepage is

Our Class Project: The goal of this project was to fulfill the mission of TeachUNICEF.  My 6th grade students were each assigned a topic to research about children in Africa.  They utilized the media center to access books and to research online (via SIRS Discoverer).  They each wrote a 5-paragraph expository essay, followed by a team-created podcast.  They used Audacity to produce and mix their audio, along with sound effects and music exported from GarageBand.  The podcasts were uploaded to the class SoundCloud accountHere's the link:

Below are some embedded examples:
Poverty in Africa

Malaria in Africa
HIV and AIDS in Africa
Education Issues in Africa