The last two days of the unit culminated in a role play activity from the Zinn Education Project website titled The Cherokee/Seminole Removal Role Play. I love this website. I have previously explained the reaction that the reading passages had on my students and their genuine interest in Zinn’s text. The role play activity from the website took the learning to a new level.
The discussions during the “Congressional Hearing” were lively to say the least. My reward was seeing my students engaged in their own learning throughout the unit thanks to the readings from A People’s History of the United States and the Zinn Education Project website.
I knew I achieved nirvana not only when my principal acknowledged the great job I did, but also when Chuck, the colleague next door who had presented me with Zinn’s book early in the year, came into my classroom to shake my classroom to shake my hands and said to me, “Congratulations, you have taught a great classroom. Your students came into my classroom and couldn’t stop speaking about their roles. They were still arguing against each other and finally I had to say, ‘Enough social studies already!’ You did a great job.” I was beaming and I think I still am.