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Vocabulary Assignment concerning McCarthyism in the 1950's for US History.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.
US History textbook and vocabulary
In students US History class, their teacher asked them to write a McCarthyism like speech to show knowledge of vocabulary from that unit. (See original assignment here) For some students with severe writing difficulties, this is a very difficult assignment because it asks students to take the knowledge that they know and use it to write. When talking with their US History teacher, I asked if he was looking for historical writing or correct usage of the vocabulary terms. He was looking for usage of the vocabulary terms. So I came up with the following alternate assignment for students who severely struggle with completing this type of open ended assignment.
Students will participate in class discussion with US History teacher on meanings of words and how he wants them used in a speech.
When students go to write their own speeches, students will log on to wizer.me to be granted access to the alternative speech that is a fill in the blank format.
Students will be graded if the words are used correctly in the speech.
Students will still be given the opportunity to present the speech as their typical classmates.
The students who participated in this activity were students who under normal circumstances would not have turned in the assignment. They worked together in conversation to make sure they were using the correct word in the correct place and had a lively discussion on it. After the assignment was concluded, I discussed with their teacher actually using the fill in the blank option as an example assignment for all students in order to give students an example.
Assessment: Formative /Summative
Worksheet with the correct use of the vocabulary terms
Continued in the US History course on Chapter 26 on the Red Scare and McCarthyism.
If I had to do this assignment again, I would still have all students complete the fill in worksheet, not just the students who have a severe writing disability. After listening to the great discussion that students had to decide which word would be used where, I would use this as an introductory assignment in order to get to the actual writing, then I would work with my severely disabled writing students to use voice typing to create their own speech.