Show and Tell
The students had recently read the life of Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. And, they seemed slightly interested. But when I brought in the show and tell, and walked them through their own family history, hands raised, questions were asked, and there were even correlations made to their reading selection. Administrators and other teachers stopped by, the classroom teachers participated, and the students were engaged. Even students shy to answer, shared a bit. By day 2, the homework assignment return rate raised to about 90%. Like any good genealogist, they were required to do the paperwork before the online research. Computer time was an incentive, but not one of them wandered off to the social media sites. They stayed focused and determined.