This past week our socials class made use of its Wikispace’s discussion boards to conduct ranging conversations around major themes in their respective chapters. For the grade nines, this meant the English Civil War; the tens discussed Canada’s colonial society and its political issues.
Students divided the chapter into sections which were read and mined for a discussion topic by partners or groups of three. The class then was assigned the reading of their respective chapter, and was asked to post in a variety of the discussion threads at a rate of three-to-five quality posts for each of the assignment’s two days. The student-groups who had crafted and posed each of the original questions were charged with moderating their discussion thread, and at the end of the week the task of synthesizing the major points of the discussion. As one of the wiki’s purposes is to serve as a reference and study tool as the socials curriculum (and respective stories of the European march toward independance and exploration, and Canada’s first steps into democracy and the West) will continue to accumulate through the final exam in June, a brief representation of what became at times passionate and articulate debate could potentially go a long way.
Out of the density of text, Wordle.net came to the rescue, the results of which freckle this page, and aided in the creation of the intended summary paragraphs of the discussions’ major themes and ideas. When the final does arrive though, I wonder if these wordles – as well as those which will follow – just may prove to be the more valuable study tool?