Virtual learning prompts teachers to tailor lesson plans to learn about inauguration

VIDEO: Teachers tailor their lesson plans on Inauguration Day

In a normal school year, Megan Holyoke’s students would have been watching the historic inauguration live together in class.

But this school year has been anything but normal.

“I wish that we could have watched it together in class. Have conversations around it, discuss the significant things Biden said in his speech,” said Megan Holyoke.

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And then there’s the reality of remote learning.

Wednesdays are office hours for Holyoke, an AP government and political science teacher at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, so she doesn’t even meet with her class.

So she gave them an assignment to watch at least some of the inauguration.

“I had some prompts for them, some questions to keep in mind as they are watching it. Letting them know that we will talk about it tomorrow in class when we’re all back together,” Holyoke added.

Even some of the youngest learners tackled the inauguration virtually. Some kindergarten classes in Seattle read and watched a video about Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Seattle Public Schools posted an online inauguration resource guide which provided lessons and activities through a nonpartisan lens.

Meanwhile some families watched the inauguration together.

It’s an unprecedented moment to have this front-row seat to history, one that Holyoke takes seriously.

“I feel so lucky and privileged to teach a subject that this generation cares very much about. They all have very valid opinions and thoughts about what is currently taking place,” Holyoke explained. “I’ve tried to, as much as possible, create space for them to have those conversations.”

In her AP government class, Holyoke said she also emphasizes teaching her students to analyze current events through a political science lens. Her intention is to teach them facts and give them the foundation to make them informed voters after they leave her class.