19 March 2014

Experiments in Teaching Medieval Jewish History: Connect the Dots

So, if I were writing a textbook, I would make a nice tidy outline for each chapter.
But I just couldn't see it – each era of history is such an interesting bundle of people and places and ideas all interacting with each other. So instead I wrote the terms for each unit all over a piece of paper, and told the girls, “connect the dots”.
The non-linear thinkers love it, the linear thinkers hate it, but in practice they all take their notes on this paper.

The linear thinkers finally persuaded me to try giving them the list of terms in a nice straight line.
They read that list of the exact same terms, in the same order, and exclaimed in amazement that they were familiar with every term on it. But it took a nice straight line to give them that feeling of sipuk. 

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