PACA is an activity that focuses on drawing in student attention and interest through making predictions of the text they are going to read. Then, as more information is given to them about the text by the teacher, they are asked to reassess, and create a new, more detailed predictions based on the new information. Lastly, a final review of the veracity of their original predictions compared to what the text actually was is used to conclude the exercise.
For its purpose, acting as a primer to jump start student interest and discussion within a subject, this activity can succeed marvelously. However, that success is dependent on the information the student is given, or comes to the assignment with, as that determines the quality of discussion they will create.
The following is an assignment using this technique that I created an implemented in a high school US history classroom, selecting a video on the Cold War as opposed to a physical article as the text.
Carefully consider the following questions:
- List two things you know about North Korea
- List two things you think about its people.
- What do you think about its government?
- What do you think North Koreans think about you as an American?
Answer the following questions after watching the clip from Drew Returns From North Korea.
- What are the historical factors that have shaped the North Korean world view? (What are the factors you have heard about in the US? What factors are mentioned in the video? How do they match up?)
- How does the North Korean viewpoint support or counter your preexistent knowledge of relations between countries in the area?
- Do you believe this information from Drew? Why or why not?