Renee’s Workshops for Videregående Students

Note: Student workshops can be adapted as needed to accommodate student needs’ (Interactive to lecture style, flipped classroom or online as well as different levels of English).  For additional information about workshops, lesson extensions and resources visit https://reneebrekkeebbott.com/.

Social traditions that define the American high school experience
From Friday night football games under the stadium lights to homecoming parades and prom formals, traditions are an important part of the high school experience for students throughout the US.  This workshop presentation will cover a variety of US high school traditions, from the thrilling to the silly, and analyze their role in developing important life skills.  We will also explore some similarities and differences between the Norwegian and American upper secondary school experience.  Content supports the interdisciplinary topic 2.5.1 Health and Life Skills

Can’t we all just get along?  Life skills that promote respect and mutual understanding
Politics, racism, climate, guns…these are just some of the social issues dividing the US today but if we take time to listen to one another, perhaps we can find common ground.  This interactive workshop will give pupils the opportunity to build respect for differences of opinion and promote mutual understanding by exploring the concept of identity.  Norwegian pupils will explore the identity profiles of American teenagers, compare them to their own identities, and discuss how we can understand perspectives different from our own.  Content supports the interdisciplinary topic 2.5.1 Health and life skills.

Mental health in American Schools
The transition into adulthood is naturally marked by immense physical and emotional changes, but today’s youth are facing additional threats to their mental health.  This interactive workshop will describe current mental health issues plaguing American teens including stress, anxiety and depression and school efforts to support the physical and mental health of their students.  Norwegian pupils will have the opportunity to share their own strategies for making good health choices in the face of life’s many challenges.  Content supports interdisciplinary topic 2.5.1 Health and life skills.

Vaccine Hesitancy: Choosing between individual freedoms and social responsibility
At what point do civil liberties take a backseat to the common good?  When, if ever, is a mandate necessary?  These dilemmas, sparked by the COVID anti-vaccine movement, may have lasting impacts on public health and other social issues far into the future.  This interactive workshop will analyze the relationship between democracy and freedom of speech through the lens of the current anti-vaccine movement in the US.  Students will be encouraged to practice developing their own informed opinions and share their voice as a way to participate in democracy. Content supports interdisciplinary topic 2.5.2 Democracy and citizenship.

The American dream from the perspective of Latino students
What is the American dream?  Is it a quest for equality and democracy or prosperity and success? Today’s version of the American dream is different from the past.  It has evolved to reflect changes in society.  American public schools play an important role in supporting our Latin American immigrant families as they pursue educational and economic opportunities.  This workshop presentation will address successes and barriers today’s Latino immigrant students face in pursuit of their dreams.  We will promote compassion and understanding for immigrant students and highlight their role as contributing members of society.  Content supports interdisciplinary topic 2.5.2 Democracy and citizenship

Mountain People: Learning to connect with our culture and land from the Ute Native American Tribe
Scattered throughout the sage-covered hills of western Colorado lies evidence of the first inhabitants to roam the Rocky Mountains more than 10,000 years ago.  Like a timeline in the soil, stone tools, trails, and remains of ancient structures provide clues to untold stories of nomadic life in this rugged landscape. Through this multimedia presentation, students will learn the story of the Ute people, discuss present day movements to confront racist social structures in the US, and reflect on their own connections with land and culture.  Content supports interdisciplinary topics 2.5.2 Democracy and citizenship and 2.5.3 Sustainable development.

Water: The lifeblood of the American West
Beginning its course high in the Rocky Mountains, the Colorado River flows 2,330 kilometers through 7 states and two nations until it reaches the Pacific Ocean.  It is the lifeblood of the western US, a critical water supply for nearly 40 million Americans and vast desert ecosystems, but it is being rung dry.  Drought, demand and outdated water management threatens the future of this majestic river and the life that depends on it.  Through this multimedia presentation pupils will think critically about the global water crisis, explore practices that promote sustainability, and compare Norwegian and American perspectives for this life-sustaining resource.  Content supports interdisciplinary topic 2.5.3 Sustainable development.

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Renee’s Workshops for Videregående Teachers and Teachers-in-Training

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