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Workshop Products


It is one of the main goals of the workshop that participants leave with the tools, experiences, and information to create compelling experiences in the classroom that can be shared with their students and other educators. As the workshop is being hosted at the Museum, the project will draw on the expertise of a museum and help teachers apply the benefits and engaging techniques available in the informal learning world to the classroom. To that end, all participants will create a prototype hands-on interactive exhibit element that answers one of the guiding questions that will be posed on Day One of the workshop.

For those Summer Scholars who opt to receive graduate credit through Framingham State University, an additional project will be due by September 3, 2013. Participants earning graduate credit will be asked to create a lesson plan that covers some aspect of the War of 1812 covered during the workshop.

The Value of Exhibit Prototypes

The USS Constitution Museum has adopted a strategy that speaks to its approach to learning in the Museum: "The Museum  will provide a hands-on, minds-on environment where inter-generational groups seeking an enjoyable, educational experience can have fun and learn as they explore history together." A decade-long investigation into family learning has led the Museum to fully endorse the practice of creating prototypes of exhibit element ideas to test their effectiveness before finalizing any portion of an exhibit. Workshop participants will emulate this process and their collective prototypes will create a temporary exhibit that the public will be able to enjoy.

The skills that prototyping builds will force participants to test their own understanding of a concept so that they may translate that idea to a public which brings varying degrees of background information. Through the exhibit building process, holes in understanding become clear. The process is also easily translated into the classroom - as students build exhibits, they too clarify their misunderstandings and achieve "top of the triangle" learning - the ability to teach-back a concept.

For more information on the Museum's exhibit building process and examples of prototypes the Museum has tested, see the Family Learning Forum, a project of the Museum for other industry professionals.

Lesson Plans

For graduate credit through Framingham State University, participants must create a lesson plan on a topic covered in the workshop. The lesson plan must include:

  • Lesson title and grade level appropriateness
  • Length of lesson
  • Required materials and equipments (and suggestions to acquire unusual materials)
  • Objectives and Goals
  • Alignment with state curriculum standards of the participant's teaching location
  • Teaching context to provide instructors with background knowledge
  • Direct Instruction: a detailed look at the lesson that is to be presented to students
  • Guided practice: an opportunity for students to apply knowledge and skills
  • Independent practice: homework or independent assignments that demonstrate students' understanding
  • Assesment activity: must be directly and explicitly aligned to the stated learning objectives and goals and test student's understanding of them
  • An annotated bibliography and citations of all oustide sources.

Creative and original approaches are highly encouraged. Participants should refer to the Museum's online available K-12 interdisciplinary curricula, All Hands on Deck (1997) and A Sailor's Life for Me (2011).


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