For my AP European History class I decide to experiment with an idea picked up from the EARCOS Teachers Conference this year. Presenting on “Finding More Time in the Classroom” Jeff Utech suggested the idea of a Fishbowl Activity.
So, here is how it works:
- Half the class is given a question for homework on which to reflect, research, and post a reflection on the class blog
- The other half of the class is to read the blog posts and be prepared to discuss
Dring the next class period
- the original blog-posters form an outside circle and are set up in a chat room poised to chat about the discussion occurring in the ‘inner circle’
- the other half of the class forms a circle in the middle and discusses the question including points of view given by their classmates
The activity was slow starting but once it began, students were asking questions of each other, quoting the posts by their classmates, and bringing in outside material that we had studied earlier in the year. The collaboration and higher order of thinking was incredible! I would definetly be doing this again and suggest it to those looking for ways to integrate technolgy easily into the humanites classroom.
- Choose a ‘broad’ question that can tie in lots of outside material
- Do your best to stay out of it! It may surprise you how the students help each other recall the material
- Have fun with it!
Programs I used: