Last week it was time to pull together what my students had learned so far in the unit on the Russian Revolution. We were working on the events leading up to the 1905 Revolution. They had done a series of lessons on the make up of Russia prior to 1900, they had done a virtual trip of Russia by train, and they had read the text and shared various images together to give greater context to the events.
I wondered what to do next…
- Should I have my students reorganise their notes?
- Should I do a sorting activity that helps students distinguish between short and long term causes?
- Should I use hexagons to help them link events to larger causes?
Instead I decided to let my students “cook” a revolutionary dish.
Since I had just return from the Practical Pedagogies conference at Toulouse International School, I was full of new strategies and tasks I could use to engage my students.
I adapted the task, Pizzas and Cakes, that Dianna Laffin shared with us in her workshop “Active Learning in History in the Exam Years.”
I figured since my students were analysing what occurred that caused the Russian Revolution, they could just as easily create a recipe for the Revolution instead.
One group created a Proletariat Pizza and one group made Causation Cupcakes. Another group created Bourgeoisie Burgers and another made Revolution Ramin. One group of boys decided the dish should be of Russian origin, so they made Vindication Vinaigrette. (A beet salad)
The room was much more abuzz with excitement than usual. They crafted and discussed. They argued over the directions for cooking and the ingredient order. Ultimately, they reorganised their notes, sorted which causes were long or short term, and linked events to larger overarching causes.
Of course, like anything else, you can only do this type of activity once in awhile. At the same time, students will realise that if this sort of activity works to revise and synthesise their notes, they can all use this strategy on their own.
Have you ever made Revolutionary Recipes with your students?