Grade 7 History Memoirs

For term 2, I needed a drama mark and an interesting way to teach history.  We started off by each student taking a person from Canadian History, circa 1700-1850, and researching their life story.

Their history mark came from if they could “explain my person’s contribution to Canada,” in the short term and long term.

Their drama mark came from “I considered motivations of historical characters (does your memoir include thoughts & feelings).  I read an article about teaching historical empathy, and I thought this was a good way to have the students put themselves in someone else’s shoes.  While I had already formally evaluated voice and body language, this was another criteria I asked them to consider:

  • My voice, body language reflect the person
  • o   E.g., Is my person confident, bossy, timid? Tecumseh, for example, would have proud body language.
  • I include what I think my characters thoughts/feelings would have been to their actions. (e.g., pride, fear, shame)
  • I included props (clothes or things relevant to the character). This helps them feel like someone else, therefore, they tend to feel less embarrassed presenting.
  • I act professionally (no giggling or “um”s)
  • It is 1-2 minutes long.

For writing,

  • I can write using appropriate, formal language (audience).
  • I use “I” when referring to my character
  • I start with an interesting hook
  • I end with advice for my audience/Canada.

Please keep in mind that I have created these after teaching this learning cycle once. There is room for improvement, but it gives you a good starting place if you are interested in trying this.

Historical Memoir Planning Sheet – use this when they are researching their character, to help them get into role and to “consider their motivations”.

History Figures – Conflict and Change.ppt (a list of Canadian figures, but there are many more that could still be added)

 

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