Current Issue Back Issues Cards
Issue 10, Spring 2013
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An Artful Thinking Classroom,
   Jessica Ross
Solving Real-World Problems With
Open Source Software
   Tim McNamara
Change Leadership For Learning,
   Tony Wagner
Deeper Learning In Common Core
Math Projects
   Sarah Strong
Design Thinking and the Shift
from Refrigerator Projects
   Lindsey Ott & Eric White
Deeper Learning For Professionals,
   Karen Fasimpaur
Gaining Perspective: Guiding
Student Reflection
   Tara Della Roca
A Differentiated Lesson, A To Z,
   Cara Littlefield
Taking A Stand On
Controversial Issues
   Mary Hendra
Scaffolding Creativity Through
Design Thinking
   Mindy Ahrens
Don’t Just Talk About
Character: Teach Habits
   Liza T. Eaton & Cyndi D.Gueswel
Teachable Moments: A Lesson In
Listening To Students
   Beth DeLuca
Mindsets and Student Agency,
   Eduardo Briceño

1: Energy Puzzles
2: Food For Thought
3: Historic Rap Throwdown
4: Turning Points, Toy Theatre
5: The End of the World Uncovered
6: Matter All Around
7: The Learning Landscape
8: Are You Fitter Than a 5th Grader?
9: The Great 9th Grade Odyssey

Historic Rap Throwdown

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In pairs, students chose and then researched a controversial historical figure that had both a positive and negative impact on history. Students created a fact sheet and eventually wrote a persuasive essay. Next, the names of the historical figures were randomly selected out of a hat to create the rap battle pairings. Teams of four students now worked together to create lyrics for a rap battle. While the majority of the research and writing was being done in Humanities class, students worked on creating a beat suitable for a rap battle in their Multimedia class. Students then recorded their written lyrics over their beat, created costumes, and filmed a music video in front of a green screen and then edited to create an entertaining video that was exhibited on YouTube.

Teacher Reflection:
We both share an affinity for the YouTube channel Epic Rap Battles and, while the original content may not be appropriate for school, we thought it would be a great place to start for a project idea. Our goal was to support our students in creating rap battles that were not only school appropriate, but that were more historically accurate than our inspiration on YouTube. It was a great opportunity to have students demystify historical figures, seeing that even heroes have flaws and villains aren’t complete monsters.

Student Reflection:
The most useful aspect that I learned from this project was something that wasn’t intended. I did learn a lot of history and multimedia, but the biggest thing I got out of this project was how to not care about looking silly. At first I held back and was afraid of making facial expressions and doing funny dances. As I got more comfortable, not only did the clips become better but I felt better and had more fun while being filmed. After completing this project I feel extremely proud and satisfied about my final YouTube video.       —Hana

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