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Differentiation using Complex Instruction

Colonial Rebuild
Collin Case
9th Grade World History


Understanding Complex Instruction
Complex instruction is based upon providing equity in the classroom through equal participation in a group
project or in group work. This is not to say that students will do the exact same thing within the group.
Complex instruction allows students to participate in a way that they will be most helpful and mostly likely to
learn. Students who normally would not participate in a group project due to status problems are able to
when using Complex Instruction. This status problem comes from the idea that the student has nothing to
offer. Complex instruction aims to change this by allowing this student to participate in a meaningful way.

Big Ideas
Relationships Between People and Environments influence one another:
This idea addresses Kansas History Government and Social Studies standard number 5 Relationships
between people, places, ideas, and environments are dynamic.
Sub point-after the fall of a major civilization it is difficult for other civilizations to recover.
Essential Questions
How would the fall of a major civilization impact civilizations that surrounded it?
What does it take to create a civilization?
How does this relate to the fall of Rome and the start of the Dark Ages?
Students need to
Know: Students will need to know the major causes of Rome falling and how that leads to the period
called the Dark Ages by some. (A topic we will later discuss).
Understand: Students will need to understand the major impacts that a societal collapse can have on
other civilizations. They will also need to understand many of the different aspects that are needed to
redevelop a civilization such as security, food, water, sanitation, economy, political/government and
logistics. Additionally, they will need to understand how geography can affect all of these needs.
Be able to: Students will need to be able to think historically and work in groups to develop the different
aspects needed for the colony rebuild.

What will the groups be made up of?
Students will work in groups based upon interests/talents with various levels of readiness.

How will groups be divided?

Students will be placed in groups based upon their interest profile obtained through the use of a quick
questionnaire which will also help me to understand their talents.
Questionnaire: The pre-project questionnaire will consist of several questions that will ask the student
to answer which types of activities they would want to do in a colony to determine how they would best
help us to rebuild.

What major groups will exist?

Sustenance, Government, Security, Economy/logistics, and public life.

What are the major roles?

Record keeper, builder/designer, researcher, presenter
Tell me more about these groups?
Students will work together in their groups based upon their interests. For example, students interested
in defense/security will work together in a group but different talents will be in the group. So for defense,
you would need an architect to draw up the plans, a builder, someone to determine the
economics/logistics such as pay, food, and equipment. Each group needs to have the many talents that
students come in which but focused around the interests.

How will students interact with other groups?

Students will need to work with the other talent areas so the builders on security would work with
builders on sustenance and the workers for politics. The entire purpose is for the student to work with a
variety of different people and use their talents to the best of the colony.

How will it be differentiated?

This is differentiated by process and product. Students will, ideally, achieve the same understanding of
the essential questions and be able to meet the goals of the project. But, students will be producing
different things and producing them in different ways. The sustenance group wont be producing the
same things as the government group.

How much freedom will the students have?

Students will have a lot of freedom because they as a class are creating the colony to be their own.
Outside of the assigning of groups and development of contracts, I will give little formal instruction, but I
will work with the different groups to help them think of ideas they may have over looked.

Using Learning Contracts

The use of learning contracts may also be a good addition to this project so that groups have
accountability of each other throughout the course of the project.

Student Resources

Contract Blank.docx

Teacher Resources
Tomlinson, Carol A. How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-ability Classrooms. Alexandria, VA: Association
for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2001. Print.