There are many exciting things going on in the classrooms at Cascia Hall.
One of the new teachers, Ginger Day, teaches social studies in the middle school. She happens to be a graduate of Cascia Hall from the class of 1990. She was in the first class of girls to come over for the 1986-87 academic year when Monte Cassino closed its high school and Cascia went co-ed 25 years ago.
Day recently completed a project in her seventh grade social studies classes called “History in a Minute.” Students could choose to research the Crusades, the Renaissance, Marco Polo, or Mansa Musa, all events or technological advances that paved the way for European Exploration during the time period of 1095-1400 AD.
The oral presentations were at least one minute in length, but not more than two. Students had one minute to explain why the event, group, or person was and is important in history.
Students worked in groups to gather information for written reports that answered the 5W’s related to each topic. The authors’ own thinking was the focus of the reports. In other words, the team members had to decide why the event, group or person was important. The oral presentations, with visual aids, showed that the group members could work effectively to communicate the results of their research to the class.
As well as learning history, students were able to engage in a cooperative group project where they had to do the following:
• Agree on a focus for the topic
• Agree on a list of tasks required to complete the project’s requirements
• Identify and address solutions to any problems that might interfere with completion of the project
• Make sure tasks were divided fairly
• Each team member played an active role in the research, writing of the report, making of the visual aids, and presenting the information to the class.
The “History in a Minute” project, which will repeat each quarter, was very enjoyable for the students, as well as educational.