Welcome to a fascinating course on cowboys and Conestogas, migration and miners, expansion and ethnicity. This course will teach students how to critically analyze and evaluate competing perspectives on western American history, with an emphasis on the century spanning from 1830, at the time of the Indian Removal Act, to 1930 and the beginnings of the Great Depression. Students will use primary sources, class readings, discussions, and assignments to explore the cultural and historical underpinnings of the American West.  The final project for this course will be a research project where they will showcase their ability to analyze and prioritize information and reflect on a historical event.  The course is aligned with the state of Utah's Core Standards for Social Studies, U.S. 1 Strand 6: Expansion Standards 6.1 and 6.2
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High School
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Shawna on Oct 09, 12:24pm

I really enjoyed going through this resource. The picture got my attention first. I also thought it was clever that you used the word "seat time" in your description. I have never seen this description before and I am going to borrow it. It gives a different angle to lesson planning.
I also found it to be very well organized and the layout was excellent. If I were a student in high school this lesson would catch my attention, provide an opportunity to learn history in a "whole story approach".

Nicely Done!

Katie Blunt on Apr 12, 01:59pm

Something I like about this resource is that it is well written. The overview/summary catches my attention and gets me excited to teach with this resource. The learning intentions and success criteria are clear and succinct. The resources linked in the lesson are helpful and high-quality.
An opportunity for improvement of this resource is: in the overview and summary for this resource, it says that the resource is a course. It seems more like a unit (one part of a whole course). A full course is usually at least 14 hours of seat time, but this unit is only 1-2 hours of seat time. It might be helpful to clarify this in your introduction.
Something I wonder about this resource is how you recommend a teacher present the material. The content is great. Is this content that you would put into a Canvas course? If presenting it in a face-to-face environment, would you lecture while students took notes? It would be helpful to include teaching strategies in your plan that show how you will engage students and give them opportunities for writing, speaking, and listening throughout the unit in addition to the essay at the end.
One new idea to consider in the design of this resource is some guidance for using the Jeopardy review game. I like the inclusion of the Jeopardy game as a fun review. I didn't completely understand how to play the game in an asynchronous online learning environment. It might help to include instructions for the teacher/student to know how best to use this resource. Or, if it can really only be played synchronously, then that might be a good note to include in the plan.
Great work!

Bethany @Katie Blunt on Apr 14, 10:14pm

Thank you for your thoughtful feedback, Katie! I found your suggestions to be very helpful, and I incorporated them in the following way to improve my lesson:
First, yes, it is a "lesson" and not a "course". I made the appropriate correction in the summary.
Second, I clarified that this lesson can be adapted for use in either an asynchronous online, synchronous online, or face-to-face learning environment.
Third, I interjected new points in the instructional content describing suggested learner engagement strategies.
Fourth, I provided more guidance clarifying the purpose for the Jeopardy review, and suggestions for the type of learner environment it can be used with.
Thanks again!



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