Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Jamestown Lesson: Fear Factor

I am wrapping up my teaching of Jamestown this week. It is always one of my students' favorite topics! There is just so many interesting parts to it! We are almost finished reading "Blood on the River." If you haven't read this book, you should! It is awesome! My class gets so into it and it is very close to actuality (based on primary sources.) 

I am always looking for ways to hook my students into history! I will do anything to get them to buy into my lesson.

Yesterday we did a fun lesson that I call Fear Factor: Jamestown Style! Have you seen the show "Fear Factor"? The idea is that contestants have to face their fears to win big money! I think Jamestown would be like that in that the colonists were all facing very real fears, but instead of a monetary reward, they were trying to save their own lives! 

I start the lesson with looking at some primary sources and having students analyze them together with their table groups. Students present their findings and earn points for their groups.

Then, I have a food portion of the game! I go to the store and buy the most disgusting foods that I can find... like baby food, canned meat, sardines, picked pigs feet, etc. (YUCK)
The students eat it up! (literally) The student to eat the food the fastest and show me that there isn't any left in their mouth, gets a point for their team.

I didn't get any pictures of the food part because I was so involved in watching them compete for their teams by taking down the gross food! Needless to say, there are plenty of kids willing to eat some gross stuff for the sake of points for their team. 

I always make sure that the students don't have any food allergies before I buy anything and it is always optional to compete in the food portion.

Finally, we tally up all the team points and then I give some kind of reward for the winning team (like candy or Dojo Points.) 

I think next time I will pick up some mints for everyone to enjoy afterwards to get the nasty taste out of their mouth from whatever they had to eat in the challenge.

This is a lesson that students keep talking about for days afterwards! If you want to see more and get the whole lesson, here is a link.

What do you do to hook your students in?

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