Today is the day our country is observing the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. It also happens to be the day that President Barack Obama is inaugurated to continue his presidency. Most schools around the country have today off and it is my hope that our students are remembering Dr. King. I also hope that they are watching the coverage of President Obama's Inauguration.
However, if I was in the classroom today (like I have the great fortune to have been in the past) with students there are a couple of things I would be doing with them. Some of which would be impossible without technology.
- Why an inauguration? And what about all this pomp and circumstance that goes along with it? A WebQuest (or TweetQuest) would be a great way to get the kiddos to better understand the history and importance of this day.
- Compare and contrast President Obama's inaugurations and speeches. What are some things that seem to be routine for an inauguration? How are the President's speeches similar? Different? Transcripts of the speech can be found online as is last year's inauguration.
- Watch the inauguration live and engage the kiddos in a conversation about what they saw. YouTube is streaming it, but so is every other major network.
- View the Twitter stream of the inauguration's hashtag #inaug2013. It requires a constant refreshing, but if the streaming wasn't working out, then they'd still be able to read much of President Obama's speech. Also, it would be interesting to hear their thoughts on some of the opinions being tweeted out. They're not all positive, nor all they are negative.
Even though school is not in session today, I'd probably still do all of these things tomorrow when the kiddos returned from their long weekend. Even though I've spent time teaching only science and math I'd still do it, with them hunting to see if they could find the shortest or longest speech. Compare the amounts of money spent on each inauguration. Compare the weather for past inaugurations. History is made each time a president is sworn into office.