The recipient of the 2011 NCGE/Herff Jones Nystrom Award uses classroom research and debate to teach about historic and contemporary issues.
Teresa Potter, who teaches grades three through six at Fisher Elementary School in Oklahoma City, was honored for a her lesson entitled “Read, Write, Debate, Create!”
The NCGE/Herff Jones Nystrom Award honors a K-12 teacher for an exemplary lesson plan.
Potter aims for the lesson to “engage students in exploring how everyday activities such as tourism can affect the environment in positive and negative ways.”
Potter’s lesson plan focuses on tourism in Africa, but she says it can be adapted to examine other issues. Her fifth graders debated the issue of American independence from Great Britain in the colonial era.
In addition to learning about the pros and cons of the issue they are researching, Potter’s students organize evidence and opinions to support their argument and counter opposing points of view during a debate.
Herff Jones Nystrom, which provides a $1,500 cash prize for the award winner, publishes maps, globes, atlases, and other materials.