Thus, an idea was born! We were painfully trying to get through the role of women in a variety of cultures from the ancient world. I went home that night and put some thought to how I could get the students to learn the information in a way that they enjoyed and learned something from at the same time.
I decided that I would let the students do the work by researching the cultures and, as a group, present their findings to the class. I broke the students into four groups and gave each group an ancient civilization: Roman, Spartan, Jewish, or Greek. As a group, they researched the culture, any historical events, and two to three significant women from that society. Their task was to put all their research in a coherent PowerPoint presentation, where they could be as creative they wished. I allotted three days to research, using laptops, and create their presentation.
I would love to know if you have any suggestion for how I could do a project similar to this in the future, or if you have done something similar. Please share your ideas and constructive criticism. Today they are on their second day of research, and already a problem I am running into is keeping a class full of girls on task. I am hearing more stories of gossip and less of ancient civilizations. Every few minutes I am reminding them to stay on task.
I really enjoy the class, but I am having trouble keeping them engaged in the material. In addition, since there is no set curriculum, I am having to develop a curriculum as I go along. The teacher, who I have replaced left a vague outline where the class should go, which has been a lot of help thus far, but I am getting the feeling that as the semester progresses I will have to come up with other material. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.