This past year I had the opportunity to work with Patricia L. Supplee and the League of Women Voters to bring interactive lessons to my remote classes. In addition, the League of Women Voters were able to bring their program remotely to Oiada International’s Project Ghana (Here is the link to that article: THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS MEET THE STUDENTS OF THE SOLID ROCK FOUNDATION SCHOOL IN GHANA AND MORE! | Unheard Voices Magazine).
The purpose of this remote session was to learn how to take multiple approaches into engaging students in their studies with history and civics.
Krysten Semerano and Allison Connolly, Ocean Township High School teachers, were the lead teachers who demonstrated these approaches during this remote meeting. Under the topic of study in which they were presenting these methods of teaching, “Martin Luther King and the Struggle for Voting Rights,” Semerano and Connolly had the audience engage in topics about how the south was set up after the time of the American Civil War. For instance, discussion on Jim Crow and Disenfranchisement, why segregation still existed after the passage of the 14th and 15th amendment, and Plessy vs. Ferguson took place. From there a critical thinking question was introduced to elicit response as a teacher would do in the classroom.
For example, in 1909, the NAACP decided on a legal strategy to fight segregation, why did they decide on this strategy and would you be optimistic or pessimistic about this strategy?
From there the remote lesson tackled Martin Luther King Jr.’s effort of deciding whether or not to march over Pettus Bridge. The presenters had a template which gave the opportunity to those joining remotely, as a teacher would do with students in the classroom, to take two directions of whether or not crossing the bridge could happen. Those who attended, students would do this method in the classroom, had to pretend that they were Dr. King and decide yes and why they would cross or go in the other direction of being Dr. King and decide no why they would not cross.
I felt this remote session that was sponsored by the League of Women voters to be very insightful as I gained knowledge of ways to present this important topic to my students in the upcoming school year.
by David Wronko, history teacher at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School (formerly Asbury Park Middle School).