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The Educational Value Of Students Creating “What If?” Scenarios

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I’m a big fan of having students create “What If?” scenarios (see The Best Resources For Teaching “What If?” History Lessons), primarily, though not exclusively, in history classes.

In fact, next week my IB Theory of Knowledge classes will be creating these kind of What If? presentations (you can see tons of examples at the previously mentioned “Best” list). Then, after the Winter Break, I’ll make arrangements to have a number of them come to my ELD World and US History classes and help the ELL students create their own as their final semester project. That sequence always works well.

Yesterday, Aeon magazine published a nice essay explaining the value of these kinds of projects, also called “counterfactuals.” It’s title, simply enough, What If?

Here’s an excerpt:

the-exercise-of

And, in case you missed it, here’s what one of my students last year says she learned from the lesson:

I-learned-that-every-200hteess

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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