I recently launched a unit on the European Union for a grade 9 Individuals and Societies class, as it lends itself nicely to inter-disciplinary themes, including Politics, Economics, and Geography. (There are interesting links to History and Psychology as well, though these are not the focus of the unit I’ve designed). One of the two standards being pursued–adopted from the Common Core Plus— is that students will be able to analyse how cooperation and conflict influences political, economic, and social contexts. Having broken down the standard into its component parts, the first strand we will focus on is: analyse how conflict influences economic contexts. To satisfy this objective, students need to be able to identify forms of conflict, and features associated with an “economic context.” The following formative assessments were designed to ensure students meet this objective:
- Students complete a K-W-L chart to assess their prior knowledge of conflict as it relates to the European conflict.
This formative assessment was designed based on the understanding that learning is a constructive process, that new information is built upon, and filtered through the sediments of a students’ prior beliefs and understandings. A K-W-L chart is one way to access this prior knowledge.
2. Students will identify three statistics and two examples to support the claim that “refugees are influencing the economic context amongst Shengen countries in Europe.”
A paragraph on the economics of Shengen will be provided to students from this article by the European Council on Foreign Relations. I am currently in active dialogue with the English teacher to develop the academic writing skills of grade 9. By exercising their ability to identify evidence and examples, they will be better prepared to use evidence and examples when they write their own essays.
3. Students will storyboard the links between the Syrian Civil War and the economic context among Shengen countries.
I find storyboards to be an inclusive and effective way to support causal explanation development in students. Using images and text to illustrate the relationship between the Syrian Civil War and Shengen economics will allow EAL learners to access the learning experiences, while providing sufficient challenges for native English speakers.