Sunday, April 14, 2013

New Dinner Party Seating Lessons!

One of the most difficult things about planning a wedding is the seating arrangements. My wedding had tables of 8 and we struggled to put together groups with things in common who would enjoy each other's company.

This process got me thinking that this would make for a great lesson plan! Students have to think critically about various figures in history to seat them at a table with things they have in common. It makes for a great review after presenting information on a lot of people.

Here are a few that I have used in both World and US History:

Cold War Dinner Party

In this one, students seat 8 Cold War figures in down to dinner to help ease Cold War tension. Your students will have to think critically about the ideas that each shared in common and who would not get along and turn the dinner "frosty".

Age of Enlightenment Salon Party

One of the most difficult units for my World History II students is the Enlightenment. There are a lot of very similar people they need to know, all with difficult names. This Enlightenment Salon Party is a fantastic way for students to process their learning. I first present the important figures of the Enlightenment in this powerpoint you can download for free here. Here are some sample images from the powerpoint:


French Revolution Dinner Party

This next lesson on the French Revolution has students place 8 key figures like Robespierre and Louis XVI in a way that keeps the dinner from turning into a "reign of terror".  Besides just identifying people as Jacobins or monarchists, students must make connections between various ideas and philosophies. The lesson includes 8 short biographies students can read in groups and discuss. Here are some sample images from this lesson:


Gilded Age Dinner Party

Lastly, for American History, I created this lesson for a Gilded Age Dinner Party that includes both Robber Barons and Progressives. Like in the French Revolution lesson, students read biographies of 8 people and must think critically to seat them next to others and justify their seating arrangements.

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