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Help needed! Communism vs Capitalism

Discussion in 'History' started by Goldopals, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. Goldopals

    Goldopals New commenter

    I am a Science and Maths trained teacher and have to teach history. We are teaching students about the Communism and Capitalism as a lead in to studying the Vietnam War. I am teaching years 7-9 with vastly different ability levels in one class. Could anyone please give me some help with planning?
    I only have one double (100 minutes) and perhaps one single (50 minutes) to cover the difference between Communism and Capitalism.
    I plan to start the lesson with the role play described in the link above, but am not sure what other activities to use. I have only had the students once this term and do not know how they would cope with the debate as the main part of the lesson in the above link.
    Any help would be much appreciated!
  2. I used to teach this after Christmas when I had lots of chocolate coins left over. I would ask the kids what they thought would be a fair way to reward the class for their last homework (which I hadn't returned to them yet). I might prompt them with 2 options if necessary - equal rewards for all or rewards based on grades. They would then go and sit in the half of the classroom with others that chose their option. I would give one or two coins to the kids that chose the communist option (equal shares) . The fun bit then was checking my mark book as I piled a heap of coins by the few kids that got really high marks and so on with one or two getting no coins at all. You could point out that there are more coins available to the capitalist lot as it has historically led to higher levels of prosperity but it is not equally shared.
    I can.'t remember if I made that task up myself or saw it somewhere...
    Anyway I would also advise looking at the topic ahead. What is it you predict they will need to grasp to understand what comes later in the topic. Stress those aspects.
    Good luck!
  3. Is your school seriously asking a total non specialist, to teach a class with 3 year groups mixed in. And I assume that means the kids have had a different teacher previously so no continuity.
    Has your school gone mad?
  4. Goldopals

    Goldopals New commenter

    It is (to my thinking) an extremely weird way of organisation! It is a middle school (7-9) in an area school setting (K-12). At the beginning of each term the kids get to pick their own teachers in one giant free for all. The whole middle school (150) gather in the central area around which are classrooms and run to the teacher they want!
    I have some kids I have had taught in either science or SOSE (mixture of Geography and History), but the rest are strangers. Apparently a lot of them tend to pick different teachers each term. It was not too bad last term when we studied Australian Geography because I only had years 7 and 8 and taught them pretty much what I taught my 7/8 Maths class last year (different school). There is not too much continuity!
    It is difficult. I do not have any technology in my room (overhead or projector). I have been given some resources by my colleagues, but one problem is these resources require research. All 150 kids do History at the same time so I will have to print and photocopy pages and pages of notes, unless I want to bring my personal collection of encyclopaedias and reference books in. My colleagues have already called dibs on the computers, and the selection in the library is woefully limited.
  5. Your school IS mad! How can rational human beings think this is a reasonable way to ensure students learn. I'm gobsmacked.
  6. MarkJH

    MarkJH New commenter

    Completely and utterly bonkers does not begin to describe this way of supposedly conducting teaching and learning.
  7. Goldopals

    Goldopals New commenter

    I have been given the assignment for this fortnight and I hate it.
    They have to do research on topics that need up to date resources, and considering the state of our library students will need to use the Internet, which is not an option as the computers are already booked.
    1. What countries are currently communist?
    2. Choose five items, products or services and list the following comparing communist and capitalist countries.
    • How many different options are available?
    • Is there freedom of choice?
    • How readily available is it?
    • How does the averahe price compare on a world scale and within their economy and average working wage?
    • How is it made, maintained or controlled in each country?
  8. What's the obsession these days with roleplay? Absolute nonsense. Just talk to them about it, discuss it from the book, notes on the board...History teaching with some academic rigour.
  9. That's a ridiculous task. Fair enough if it was easy to find those details but its not easy for an adult! Youll just have to ignore/subvert/ set it with guidelines that actually make it a different task. As I said before this is history you are teaching and for your average year 7-9 it's perfectly challenging enough to ensure they understand what communism meant in its historical context at that time.
  10. Goldopals

    Goldopals New commenter

    I think I will ignore the assessment. I would really rather they were assessed on their knowledge of the basics of communism and why it is good in theory but not practice. I attempted to put together a "factsheet" to help them, but it is hard!
    I would like to do something along the lines of a case study of a communist country which could apply "Communism is good in theory, but not in practice" to a specific country. Students would have to say what Communism looked like in this country (applying theoretical knowledge in a practical manner) and then examine positive and negative influences on the country. Year 9s might have to apply the phrase "All people are equal, but some are more equal than others" to the specific country.
  11. Goldopals

    Goldopals New commenter

    It would help if we had textbooks. We have about 130 at last count doing this topic at the same time. We do not have a book to cover the whole topic we are teaching and none of us want to photocopy pages for students to use. I am old fashioned when it comes to "chalk and talk" but I want to engage my students, and they are used to fun activities.
    I think that "chalk and talk" does have its place in the classroom. All teacher need to use a range of strategies to get kids interested, and both role plays, and chalk and talk can be useful strategies. The role plays will hopefully make the concepts come alive and help my students to understand them better.
  12. Role play is quite useful for drama teachers or people with an experimental sex life.

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