Guest blog post by Melinda Sears,

TackkEdu Advocate + HS French Teacher

Using Tackk to spark critical thinking in the classroom

Teaching Charlie Hebdo Day 1

How do you cover something like the attacks in Paris?

I was out of the classroom on January 7. I read about Charlie Hebdo via a friend's Facebook post. Joe and his family live in Paris. I was immediately saddened. I felt very much the same way I did when September 11th happened. I wondered 'Why?' And I wanted my students to know that France had been attacked. All I could do was pass on the information since I wasn't in the classroom to process with them. So I sent them a Remind.

How do you even enter into a conversation about what happened, let alone why it happened?

I decided to wait, sit and simmer in thought and posted two assignments via tackk for them to complete at the end of last week. I hoped they would ponder the tragedy as well.

Assignment #1

The next day, students submitted an essay via Google doc to answer the following questions I had.

Assignment #2

Today, we started the discussion.

I learned this strategy my first year of teaching. Each student gets three cards. The blue star represents agree, the pink no represents disagree and the PB stands for piggy back. It's a great way to hear everyone's voice, but so many of the questions they asked are not yes or no questions. We discussed as much as we could in forty-seven minutes.

The more I showed students the images and cartoons Charlie Hebdo was known for, the less sympathetic they grew for the tragedy. The exit slip was a wall for students to write encouragements or thoughts about the event for the French. My last two classes wrote nothing. The wall will be up tomorrow as well for students to write if they would like to. It is not mandatory. But it was surprising to me that students became more offended at Charlie Hebdo than mournful.

Tomorrow, we will continue talking. We will discuss the difference between free speech and hate speech. And I look forward to hearing their thoughts and processing this with them.

Comment Stream

2 years ago

I love how this impromptu lesson unites current global events, student discourse, critical thinking, and technology integration. Thank you for sharing how you responded to this event professionally; I hope to share this as an example of fabulous teaching!