Teaching Tools

Tips, Tricks, and Tools of the Trade

Collaborative Writing – The Final Frontier

By Lynette Kirschner

If you want to go where no man has gone before, why not try your hand at collaborative writing? The idea is simple: Combine various types of writing in an elective course with a deep understanding of a specific theory. The seminar, “Where no man has gone before: Women and Science Fiction,” was my attempt to have students not only apply various forms of writing but also gain a deeper knowledge of intersectionality using social science fiction – with a dose of creativity. Just look at these student-produced project covers!

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Chicana/o Quiz

By Maria Moss


In order to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, the – unfortunately not official – holiday of Mexican Americans in the United States, I’d like you to do the quiz and see how much you know about “la cultura chicana.”

Download the quiz and don’t look at the answers yet!

The Stick Jar: One Tool – Many Uses

By Sina Rautman

Imagine the following situation: You want your students to read out their results, but you are running low on time. Your students are highly motivated, and most of them want to share their work with the class, but it is clear from the start that you can’t involve all of them. What do you do now? Pick your ‘favorite’ child? Pick the child who did the best job as an excellent example to the rest of the class? Or would it be better to involve the shy child and give her a chance to contribute to the class? Will some children feel neglected or preferred?

JarLast summer, I spent three months in the United States where I’d been offered a chance to observe different elementary school classes. There I found a solution to the problem mentioned above. In one class – full of highly motivated fourth graders – I noticed a beautifully decorated jar filled with tongue depressors. At first, I couldn’t think of any purpose for this glass, so I decided to ask the teacher about it after class.

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A Project Seminar in Times of Covid-19

By Maria Moss

Project seminars are always challenging. Since they involve more work than a traditional seminar, they often attract those types of students who enjoy a good challenge and want to create something lasting. During the summer semester 2020, it was no different. Well, at least during the planning phase. But then Covid-19 hit. Within three weeks, we had to transform our seminar to remote learning. There was much to learn, and the ecocritical project I had envisioned took a major detour into the unknown. Originally, I had planned – as I had done in past semesters – to have students create different projects on campus or in and around Lüneburg, for example guerilla gardening or various installations (for which we often needed the university’s permission). However, during a lock down in which we were only supposed to leave our homes to go to work, the doctor, or the supermarket, I quickly knew that tried-and-true recipes for a successful project seminar would not work. So what could we do?

Well, it wasn’t long after explaining the predicament to my students that they came up with an idea. And a great idea it was.

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