Family Life History Paper

Family Life History Paper

Judith Sedaitis

Social Science

SOC 1104 Race & Ethnicity

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

This activity is the capstone of research work in-class and as homework on the 2 main sociological theories and on the role Western imperialism. plays in history of student's cultural heritage. Students describe one of their ancestors home, usually their mother's or father's and analyze the trajectory of their family history from the lens of both individual accountability (cultural theory) and from the primacy of economic and other external forces (conflict theory)

Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?

The over-arching goal is to teach self awareness through critical analysis. This means several aims are involved. 1) To learn how to critically consider the two competing sociological theories and the historical/ economic role of imperialism in their ancestral country. 2) To use enough interpretation/ evaluation to develop a comprehensive analysis . 3) To successfully argument drawing on their preferred approach. And finally, 4) To acknowledge the other point of view and the complexities of the debate.

Timing: At what point in the lesson or semester do you use this activity? How much classroom time do you devote to it? How much out-of-class time is expected?

We build the skills necessary for a successful paper from weeks 5- 10 in the semester. Since this is a social science class, most the lectures in this period teach material that students will use in their papers, and is reinforced and expanded in smaller, weekly homework assignments. This assignment weaves together weeks of classroom learning and homework. The actual writing period is about 2 weeks, but the students usually take only a day to write it, using the knowledge they gleaned the 5 weeks prior.

Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?

The paper is 20% of their final grade. The preparation is 5 weeks of lecture and homework assignments.

Assessment: How do you assess this activity? What assessment measures do you use? Do you use a VALUE rubric? If not, how did you develop your rubric? Is your course part of the college-wide general education assessment initiative?

I use the critical thinking value rubric.

Reflection: How well did this activity work in your classroom? Would you repeat it? Why or why not? What challenges did you encounter, and how did you address them? What, if anything, would you change? What did students seem to enjoy about the activity?

I thought it worked really well. It was clearly a challenging piece of writing that students became personally invested in because they were interviewing and writing about their own family's history.
And they couldn't use AI to do it instead!

Additional Information: Please share any additional comments and further documentation of the activity – e.g. assignment instructions, rubrics, examples of student work, etc. These can be links to pages or posts on the OpenLab.

Rubric on how to write the paper:

Please share a helpful link to a pages or post on the OpenLab

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