Analysis: Designing A Museum

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In our world today, it is practically a requirement that one must be digitally literate. Within the field of education, transformation has yielded classrooms that have deviated from the predominantly traditional views of literacy. Literacy no longer means being fluent in both reading and writing utilizing printed texts (Jewett, 2013, p. 22). In fact, digital literacy necessitates critical thinking by interweaving student skills, strategies, and dispositions necessary for adapting to the technological changes that influence our lives (Lapp, Moss, & Rowsell, 2012, p. 367). Just as time has brought about a myriad of changes within education, there was also a time in our country’s history where many Americans led different lives than that of today’s present society. Within my chosen unit of study, I have generated a theme of, The Great Depression: How did it affect the everyday American?

The unit itself challenges and provides multiple modalities for students to explore the delivery approaches of visual, digital, economic, scientific, and critical literacies. I have created this unit in a developmentally appropriate manner for a fifth grade classroom. I currently work with fifth grade students; therefore, my repertoire includes generating lesson plans and differentiated instructional practices to accommodate this age range of learners. Through the knowledge gained within this unit of study on The Great Depression, it is my intention that it will set the stage for students’ further understanding of our own economic, social, and political systems. My unit will also emphasize the importance of curriculum integration across a variety of subject areas. Brown (2016) supports this strategy by stating, “Curriculum integration engages students as active learners who make the most of the decisions about what they study” (as cited in Wall & Leckie, 2017, p. 36). After the implementation of this unit, students will have a developed sense of how to analyze and respond to past economic and political issues, recall and describe the causes and effects of the depression, and ultimately, construct and develop an understanding of the major components of The Great Depression. These are imperative and integral skills that are conducive to future learning approaches. I feel the late elementary grade level is a wonderful time to incorporate a single subject with a multitude of concepts and spread it across the continuum by use of the new literacies. In turn, it is the hope that through this unit, students will have a learned appreciation for present day life in comparison to the misery endured by past society during The Great Depression. Furthermore, by incorporating multimodalities within my unit, I plan to provide collaborative experiences to construct new knowledge; ultimately, with the aim of heightening my students’ motivation (Lapp, Moss, & Roswell, 2012, p. 368).

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