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This engaging, interactive, Instagram activity is based on the Rise of Japan. Students view clever Instagram hashtags that give clues to people, places and things related to Japan. They make inferences in order to determine what the post is about. Next, they find evidence in their books, notes, device, etc. to justify their answer. This is great for pairs, small groups, or individuals. It can utilize the entire room, allowing students to move around a lot, or, it can be seat work. Your choice. Depending on your style, it can be loud with lots of student discussion, or it can be quiet, as a contest where kids don't want to give away the answers. Either way, it’s really fun and extremely versatile to suit your needs.
After students have solved the hashtag mysteries and have written statements of evidence, they may get a small heart from the teacher. Students select their favorite Instagram post from the activity and then write a short sentence on the heart stating why they “like” it. The hearts can be glued or taped onto the Instagram posts – indicating how many students “like” each post.
Instagram is current and relevant to the lives of teens. Using this format is the perfect way to connect important content to their favorite past time – Instagram.
Research shows that inferencing skills are crucial for student comprehension and this activity is great for practicing those skills. “Inference is a ‘foundational skill’ – a prerequisite for higher-order thinking and 21st century skills (Marzano, 2010).
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Key Words: Ghana, Mali, Songhai, African Civilizations, Instagram, Vocabulary, Sahara, Savanna, Mansa Musa, Axum, Almoravids, TImbuktu, Vocabulary review, Insta-game, Inference, skills, middle school, social studies, 7th grade, interactive, student-centered
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