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Lesson Study #2: Academic Confidence and Language Fluency

What is Lesson Study?

Lesson Study is an opportunity for educators to take a close look around a specific concept deeply. By stepping back to listen and observe, we are able to examine different forms of thinking in different learning environments. Lesson Study allows for a group of colleagues to come together and inquire and reflect on a specific lens to help grow in our profession. 

Research Question

How can we build academic confidence in students in order to build their language fluency?

Equity Goal

Students will participate in pro-social collaborative detective work with clear roles and thoughtful groupings, resulting in them valuing each other and each others’ ideas.

Content Goals

  • Students will be able to define fascism.

  • Students will be able to recognize key components of fascism in different historical events.

  • Students will be able to make an inference on what fascism is by pulling evidence.

Theory of Action

If we provide students with a clear (standards-based) objective, the opportunity to practice using a shared vocabulary, and choice in the modality


Then students will understand their goal, have access to the language to collaborate effectively with peers, and agency in their own learning,


Which will result in increased academic confidence.

Lesson Description

Our lesson will be number 13 on the unit around WWI, Russian Revolution, and WWII. I have 23 students with 6 students with IEPs. One of our focus students has an IEP. Our lesson will focus on what fascism is. The lesson will be 66 minutes. This lesson will utilize multiple means of engagement including Jamboard, Nearpod, and videos. Students will be working together to examine different countries to develop a deeper understanding of fascism. For the full lesson plan click this button:

Click below to read more on the studies we read that influenced the creation of our lesson:

Focus Students

Focus student 1:

  • F1 is a student who is certainly capable of doing AP level work in an environment that is faster paced than her current classes. While F1's abilities and work ethic are strong, F1 can often get bored or lose interest if the pace of a lesson is too slow and giving her leadership opportunities and/or targeted feedback on how to improve her work from good to great can go a long way in keeping her invested in the course. 

Focus student 2:

  • Incredibly warm, insightful, and consistently hard-working. F2 thrives in opportunities where she can voice her ideas and opinions. Giving her the options to record her longer responses instead of typing them from time to time gives her an opportunity to go into greater detail and make connections with the content. F2 is also a strong group member that succeeds when paired with students who have strong work ethics regardless of ability levels. 

Focus student 3:

  • While incredibly shy, F3 is a student who succeeds when she has had the opportunity to develop relationships with her teachers and is also held accountable with positive framing. F3 can sometimes be distracted in the virtual setting, but has benefited tremendously with intentional grouping with other students.

Student work

Click the button to see the hard work students put into the Jamboard while exploring different countries to gain a deeper understanding of fascism.

Below are the exit ticket responses from our three focus students. ​​

  • Explain how this image represents one of the five elements of fascism. 

  • Do you feel like your idea was valued today? If so how and if not why not?

  • Scale of 1-5 how comfortable are you using the word fascism? 

fascist book.jpg

Focus student 1: “This element represents a cult element of fascism. This is because there's one main leader and a bunch f people beneath him, it could appear they value everything he says. I think my ideas were valued today. On a scale of 1-5, it would be a 3. I don't understand the idea completely, but I learned a lot more today.”

Focus student 2: “The image represents one of the five elements of fascism, which are nationalism and cult like behavior in the picture cause if you look at it its showing this guy like a big figure way, which shows that he is superior and they mention the word related to nationalism is a different language. I that feel like my idea was valued today that Fascism is wrong cause it showed that it bad and toxic. On Scale of 1-5 how comfortable are you using the word fascism: ½”

Focus student 3: “the image represents an element of fascism i believe is cult like tendencies. in the image it feels as if it is promoting the person to show that they are an all mighty lord.”

After review the exit ticket results with my coach and other colleagues, an area of improvement would be making more specifications on students criteria of success. Of the three focus students, we were expecting a much more detailed response from focus student 1 and it seems that the question did not give her a clear enough expectation.

Since fascism is a hard topic it pin down, it might have been better to expand the exploration over a week.

Although the lesson was fast and well-timed, it might have missed some key aspects of scaffolding and schema.

Keep being ambitious in lessoning planing! Trying something new and fun is better than doing the same thing over and over again.

Insight from Debrief 

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