Tattooing is the most misunderstood art form in Japan today. Looked down upon for centuries and rarely discussed in social circles, people with tattoos are outcasts in this country, banned from most public spaces such as beaches, bathhouses, and even gyms. Tattoos have an extensive history in Japan, and to truly understand the stigma behind them it is essential to be aware of their significance. The first records of tattoos...Read More
WHEN STROLLING THROUGH the trendy Buenos Aires Puerto Madero neighborhood, instances of modernity abound. Finely-tuned European cars sit in front of lavish glass condos, status symbols for the affluent Argentines lucky enough to afford them. Such items are not the norm in Argentina, however, and the government in particular has struggled with the complexities associated with the modern era. Poor leadership, corruption, and economic instability are all issues that have plagued the government from the 1940s on into the present day. This complicated topic became the focus of a student assignment this term in my Global Studies course as my 9th and 10th grade students were tasked with creating Situation Reports to demonstrate their comprehension of Argentina’s problems.
Based on protocols set forth by the United Nations, the TGS Situation Report was created with the following goals:
- Better assess students with real world tasks
- Demonstrate strong presentation skills
- Hone research skills with scholarly articles and web links
- Improve writing skills and thesis statements
Using a template created by 10th grader Isaac F., each student was tasked with writing a Situation Report, either individually or with a partner. The report was expected to be 3-5 pages in length and to explain the chosen topic in detail. Students were also required to turn in a list of references with each report. Examples of the Situation Reports created for Argentina can be found below:
Situation Report-Paul E.
Situation Report-Cameron S.
Situation Report-Isaac & Hudson
Situation Report-Hannah & Yuan Yuan
Situation Report-Liisa & Gawa
Situation Report-Sydney M.
Situation Report-Joseph & Alejandro
As part of their Situation Report, students are also expected to provide a formal oral briefing. This assesses their knowledge of the subject matter, public speaking ability and use of transitions. In the video below, 9th grade student Tiana provides the oral portion of her Situation Report on Argentina:
After every written report had been turned in and oral presentations had been made, students were tasked with reading each of their fellow classmates’ assignments. Afterwards, each student randomly chose one Situation Report from a pile, upon which a series of follow up questions were given to gauge their understanding of the subject. Some students got lucky and picked the Situation Report that they had created. Others were not so lucky. The students did an excellent job of answering the questions which showed that they benefitted from both the written and oral explanation of the issue given by their peers.
For our current term in Boston, the students will undertake another Situation Report on American Wars, and this will include a selected reading to share for the others to study and analyze.