Where did Prom go? Social isolation in high school


Marybeth Christiansen





††††††††† The events of 2020 have changed the way we go to school. Remote learning has become a part of life. We may never have a snow day again! High school is not just about classes and standardized tests. The friends you make and the memories you create in high school should last a lifetime.Remote learning limits teen-agers social interaction and adults have been focused on the learning more than the socialization.



††††††††† Students will analyze the problem of social isolation in the era of Covid-19. Students will create a social event for their fellow students. They will plan, organize and operate the event. Students will complete an evaluation of the event and participate in a discussion seminar to discuss the events successes and areas for improvement. Students create a PowerPoint presentation for the principal with a suggested calendar for socialization and networking during remote learning.



††††††††† Student Grouping:

Heterogeneous language groupings that are inclusive with language pairs will allow the teacher to check in with each group and offer supports that can apply to the entire group. Work is differentiated by skill level (English proficiency), so students in the same group will support one another as they work through the same worksheet. In the groups, Students have clear roles so that each person has a specific task to complete. The rubrics they will have in front of them are familiar to them by this time, and are specific to expectations for group work and classwork. Students are groups in heterogeneous level groupings but always paired with a language partner for clarification and support in partner and group work.

Day 1

        Define the Problem Social Isolation†† Define the Problem

        You will use a word web to brainstorm the concept of social isolation.

        You will create a definition of social isolation with your group using the Define the Problem: Worksheet#1

Day 2

        Gather the Evidence: You will research the effects of social isolation on teens. Use the worksheet to gather the evidence.

        Example sources






        Identify the Causes: You will research the increase in social isolation for teenagers in 2020 and identify the cause for this isolation.

Day 3

        Evaluate an Existing Policy: Use theEvaluation Worksheet to evaluate the town hall meetings we held at the school in September in your groups.

        Develop Solutions: Brainstorm other types of solutions for events or community building you can imagine having at Mott Hall that you think would be more successful than the Town Halls.

Day 3

        Select the Best Solution(Feasibility vs. Effectiveness) Use the Feasibility Worksheet to evaluate your top three solutions.

        Use the notes from the evaluation of existing policy to create and evaluation rubric for your solution.

Day 4

        Organize an example of your solution.

        Select date, participants, location, advertising and content and distribute responsibilities to each group.

Day 5

        Host Event (may not be sequential depending on organization of event)

Day 6

        Evaluate the using the event rubric designed in the pre-organization lesson

        Discuss evaluations and improvements to the hosted solution in a Socratic seminar style formatted discussion.

        Create event calendar to present to Principal.



Student Peer Evaluation Presentation Rubric

As you listen to the presentation give your peer groups a number for each of the following tasks.



Great 10

Very Good 8

OK 6

Missing 4

Topic related to assignment





I can understand the information





Information is correct







All the time 10

Most of the time 8

Some of the time 6

Never/None 4


& Conclusion





Presenter is engaged (doesnít read their notes)





I can hear presenter





Subject in focus





Eye contact with Audience





Speaks Clearly





Answers Questions














††††††††† [Thank you for exploring evaluating and coming up with a solution for this important problem. Social isolation is something that exists in our society even when there isnít a virus shutting down our lives. Your research and innovations around this subject are valuable and have the potential to improve lives within our school and in our wider society even globally. Can you think of another group in our society that is socially isolated and would benefit from some of your solutions?]




Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.


Work with peers to set rules for collegial discussions and decision-making (e.g., informal consensus, taking votes on key issues, presentation of alternate views), clear goals and deadlines, and individual roles as needed.