SS 6

Standard 6: Knowledge of relationships of the individual and groups to institutions and cultural traditions

Concept C: Group membership

Grade Level Expectation SS6 1.9: Analyze how a person becomes a member of a group or institution and what factors influence inclusion or exclusion from a group

Original Instruction: When I last taught full time several years ago, I introduced a unit on culture and diversity by engaging students in a discussion about group membership. We would brainstorm the various groups to which students and I belonged. The board or butcher paper would record student responses.

Original Assessment: This discussion would provide very informal data for a diagnostic assessment. Based on student responses, I could gauge the classes’ level of understanding of what it means to belong to a group, then plan instruction accordingly.

Revised Instruction: Internet-savvy early adolescents can easily connect the concept of group membership to Facebook groups and fan pages. I figure, why not use this to my advantage? Assuming it is possible with school firewalls and proxies, I would display on the SMART board my own Facebook page’s list of groups. (This may really be a case of “it’s better to ask permission rather than forgiveness!”) Most students probably know their own group affiliations in this online context, and we could springboard to their membership in groups based offline.

Revised Assessment: Ultimately this is still a rich source of data for diagnostic purposes. I could revise the means of assessment to have students email me (at my school address) a reflection on what it means to belong to various groups, both online and IRL (in real life).

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