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Oscar
01-22-2006, 19:57
I am a High School teacher that has proposed to my boss to be given a leave of absence to complete a thru hike this year. In order to be approved I have to show that the educational value of my experience will warrant my time off. Can anyone help me to think of ways I can incorporate my experience into a classroom activity.

Things I have thought of:
US Geography lesson
Journaling for English classes (read mine and write to me)
Nature study
I teach Tech Ed, more specifically TV Production so I will have my students create a video about my journey.
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Any other ideas that you can give me would really be appreciated. I have another meeting in a week where I have to present these ideas and then I will be told yes or no. <O:p></O:p>

joe 06 hopeful <O:p</O:p

Doctari
01-22-2006, 20:53
I teach Tech Ed, more specifically TV Production so I will have my students create a video about my journey.
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A few years ago backpacker (back when it was a good mag) in cooperation with "Trail Side" did a video where they handed out video cameras to several "potential thru hikers" wherein they kept a video trail journal. It was well done, and perhaps a good idea for you. This was done around 8 - 10 years ago, and video cameras were lots heavier then.

I believe the video is still avalable at http://www.travelvideostore.com/index.php?cPath=808_1259 for about $20.00

Perhaps you could do something like this; have the kids: Edit, add comentary (history of area, geography, weather) & Produce a 1 to 2 hr compilation of your hike.

Perhaps you should view the trailside video, but not even let the kids know it exists. Let them do it on their own brain power.

Other topics/ideas for the video: Local opinion, what prep it takes to do a thru, The kids opinions of what you are doing, changes in gear over the years, changes in the AT since it began, what it took to bring the AT into being. If they view the trailside video: differences in gear (etc) then & now.


Doctari.

Just Jeff
01-22-2006, 21:00
Studying group dynamics - LOTS of possible study topics there, I'd imagine. Especially for high-schoolers studying how people fit in and what they're willing to do to be part of the group.

Study volunteerism (trail maintainers are almost all volunteers)...couple that with group dynamics and why people are willing to work so hard for no pay.

Study the issues in nature conservancy. Same group dynamics as above, plus the politics, civic lessons in how our local/city/state/national governments work, etc.

Make it a topical thing - take lots of video footage, then have one semester's students edit it all for a trail documentary. The next semester can make a video on personal relationships and group dynamics. The next semester can edit it for a civics lesson and volunteerism, etc. Kids can see how one single life event can have so many lessons.

Offer to sell your finished documentary and donate profits to the school (or at least some of them).

Whistler
01-22-2006, 21:50
It's not tv-related, but definitely tech-related. Blogs, of course, are huge these days. The documentation of your hike could be a good way to introduce journaling, basic web development, photo-editing. Perhaps branch into podcasting or videocasting as well. Maybe some tv journalism/ reporting? Film interviews with well-known, AT-connected people.
-Mark

neo
01-22-2006, 23:22
every were i take my boys hiking i teach them about historical events
of the area,there are lots of educational things,science,history,geolgy,geography,i could go on
your a teacher i am sure you will do fine:cool: neo

betic4lyf
01-22-2006, 23:33
do it about people. something about diffrent people on the trail. maybe go for the being better rounded, and better able to give insight to students.

Poison
01-23-2006, 22:50
Oscar,

I am a middle school teacher still waiting on the official word on my leave of absence. I applied for a 60 day paid leave starting on April 15. I plan on starting the trail April 17.

I started off with getting the approval of my principal through an essay and a powerpoint. Then, I applied with the Exectutive Director (Superintendent). He told me that I needed to make more direct connections with the curriculum. So, I sat down with Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and Math teachers. I teach health. I created a binder that had UbD unit plans for each subject. I higlighted the parts of the unit plan where it directly connected, and did a write-up for each subject.

Currently, I am waiting on the official word from a board meeting the first thursday in february. I have gone ahead and planned my hike as if it is happening. According to my Executive Director, things are looking very favorable right now. It just needs to go through the bureaucratic stuff.

If you would like a copy of my powerpint, essay, or unit plan binder, either pm me or reply.

Good luck.

TwoForty
01-23-2006, 23:59
Say you are documenting a subculture. I think most AT hikers have developed their own subculture. Look at trail days.

Lion King
01-24-2006, 11:25
My take...

Set up the proposal, give them info as to why it can make you a better person, it can show you how to be humble which is important in a classroom.
You can use each state as a teaching tool. Think about it. Its the East Coast man, the brith of a nation, the begining of the hell we have allowed things to turn into.

Use that, each State played a valuable part in making this Nation what it is, that could be used, the basic History, the industry that has come and gone, the Native american population and the changes that have affected the overall World by what has gone on on the Eastern Seaboard for the last 100 or so years...man, its endless, and my suggestion to you, and this is no BS...

If they will not give you the time off, take it anyway. Life is very short and its yours.

There are a million really good schools that are begging for teachers, and if you hike the AT that is one more thing you can bring into the environment that makes you stand out a little more that even some of the students may be able to relate to...outdoor activities anyway.

Do it.

Gray Blazer
01-24-2006, 12:47
Educator bigwigs like multi-culturalism. Collect Appalachian Folk Songs and Folk Tales. Don't let 'em tell you that white folks ain't got no culture. I like the idea about the Trail Sub-culture.

lobster
01-24-2006, 12:52
It would seem that you might be able to impart to the kids that "somebody can do anything if they put their mind to it"!

Are you near enough the trail that the kids might come out and do some hiking?

possible school subjects your hike could be used in:

Psychology Class
Health: nutrition and calories, kinesiology
audio/video class
phys ed
English: journaling, news updates on your progress
geography: topography
history of the trail in areas you currently are walking through
mathematics
biology: fauna and flora of the trail

lobster
01-24-2006, 12:54
Is this a school of kids with well-to-do parents who might offer their kids expanded life experiences or do you live in an area where the kids end up(geography wise)pretty much where they start in life?

Singe03
01-24-2006, 13:56
The trail is very educational in many ways.

I'm a bit of a history nut so I looked at alot of things on the AT in the context of things that happened on and around it in our history. You gain alot of insight in to the whys of some historical events. How terrain could dictate the movements of an army for instance, the Shenandoahs are easy for a solo backpacker but imagine moving an army, with cannons and a supply train through them.

I've seen a good bit written about how the appalachian dialects are more true to English as spoken in colonial times because of the isolation of the Scotch and Irish in the Carolinas. Seeing the area on foot gives a greater appreciation of that isolation and the reasons behind it. Travel of even 100 miles was a BIG deal until recent times

If your thinking about it, and as a teacher you almost certainly will, you will begin to see why certain things happened where and when they did, which gives a better understanding of the event itself.

Just another angle that may prove useful...

Jack Tarlin
01-24-2006, 14:15
Don't neglect the American History angle: The Trail goes thru or near some significant places. This includes the Colonial period, Revolutionary War, and especially the War Between the States.

Oscar
01-24-2006, 15:22
Oscar,

I am a middle school teacher still waiting on the official word on my leave of absence. I applied for a 60 day paid leave starting on April 15. I plan on starting the trail April 17.

I started off with getting the approval of my principal through an essay and a powerpoint. Then, I applied with the Exectutive Director (Superintendent). He told me that I needed to make more direct connections with the curriculum. So, I sat down with Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and Math teachers. I teach health. I created a binder that had UbD unit plans for each subject. I higlighted the parts of the unit plan where it directly connected, and did a write-up for each subject.

Currently, I am waiting on the official word from a board meeting the first thursday in february. I have gone ahead and planned my hike as if it is happening. According to my Executive Director, things are looking very favorable right now. It just needs to go through the bureaucratic stuff.

If you would like a copy of my powerpint, essay, or unit plan binder, either pm me or reply.

Good luck.

I tried to email you this message but it didn't seem to work. Anyway

Wow, I just read your post and I would love to see what you put together. I was originally told in August that because I only have 6 years of experience I can not take a paid leave. I was going to settle with a June start and hike half of the trail, but it was killing me. So I am now asking for leave without pay starting May 1, my building principal loves the idea and the superintendent said I need to be more specific with my educational plans. I just had my meeting with him last week and he wants me to get back to him with my new proposal in a week. So I have the rest of the week to collaborate and try to develop some activities etc. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
So far I have developed an activity for low level English classes which includes reading my journal and corresponding to me. I am also working with a Geography teacher about a unit on the trail and the states it passes through.<o:p></o:p>
If you could forward me some of your resources that would be awesome.<o:p></o:p>
My email is joseph.klinedinst@dallastown.net<o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
What kind of mileage do you plan on doing? We may end up hiking together for a bit.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
Thanks <o:p></o:p>
Joe

MisterSweetie
01-24-2006, 15:43
I think it'd be cool for you to do a good bit of filming while you are hiking, and use it this way: Have your class make tv pilots using only the footage you shot, and each group (maybe 4 or 5 groups total) have a different genre for their pilot. One would be drama, one comedy, one reality, etc... but they all have to use footage only from what you shot.

I think that'd be cool. :)