While my classes are still at slightly different places, we are all working on the controversy surrounding the sinking of the Lusitania. I was able to show them a 10 minute silent animated film of the sinking of the ship and we discussed its purpose as propaganda which was a great follow up to our discussion of "yellow journalism" during our investigation of the USS Maine. One of the concepts I'm emphasizing this year is critical thinking when viewing media images. This was a great opportunity to discuss it and to introduce the idea of silent film to them. We will begin debating the accusations of negligence against the Captain of the Lusitania.
I am also handing out research packets this week. We are choosing topics and writing thesis questions. Each student must then write 8 research questions which will lead to the answer of the thesis question he/she has written. I will be giving each group class time for this and they will be due in two weeks - October 10, 11, 13, and 19. Each student has a page on the front of his/her research packet to keep track of the due dates for the project. There will also be a copy sheet for each day of class posted in my room.