Published Date

October 12, 2021

Resource Type

For the Classroom


Cultural, Social, Teaching Methods

AHA Topics

Teaching & Learning, Undergraduate Education

By Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall, adapted from an assignment by Rachel Mesch

For more information on this assignment, read Rachel Mesch, Rachel Mesch, Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall, and Annette Joseph-Gabriel, “Teach Your Family: A Pandemic Assessment That’s Here to Stay,” Perspectives on History, November 2021.

In this project, you will show your instructor—and your family or friends—what you’ve learned in our class.

Option 1: Go deeper on any topic we studied together or teach your family about two of our units. You will decide what and how to teach them, and submit evidence of your lesson, as well as a short reflection on the experience. The evidence can be in the form of a video of you teaching, a PowerPoint presentation, a lesson plan, and/or note from your family on what they learned.

Option 2: Take a contemporary issue—perhaps starting with a recent newspaper article—and teach one or more members of your family how to better understand it using the historical tools you have learned in this class. You will want to give them context for the contemporary issue by drawing from two or more of the thinkers/writers/historical figures we have studied this semester, using select quotes and/or important details about their texts.

Sample ideas:

  • Teach your family about women in the Haitian Revolution
  • Teach your friend about Toussaint Louverture
  • Teach your family about the US Occupation of Haiti
  • Teach your family about the impact of Black Lives Matter in France
  • Teach your family about the French controversies surrounding Muslim headscarves

Step 1: Initial topic idea and lesson plan must be submitted by DATE. Your plan will include:

  • the subject matter you plan to teach
  • how you plan to present the subject (video, PowerPoint, etc.)
  • the evidence of the lesson that you will share with me (evaluation from family member, recording of the video, copy of the PowerPoint, etc.)

I will then give feedback and guide you toward further reading materials as needed.

Step 2: Complete your follow-up research, prepare your presentation, and teach your lesson.

Step 3: Submit your evidence to me (video recording, evaluation, etc.) as well as a short reflection (one paragraph) on the experience. What new insights did you gain from presenting the material in this way? Did it cause you to think about your subject differently? How did it differ for you, as a learning experience, from a traditional final paper?