Okay. I’ll be honest. Since I first started this particular post, it’s been re-written multiple times. It started out as a short, fun little piece on an interesting period of American history that I wasn’t familiar with. It morphed into a commentary on how to teach historical thinking. It took a short detour into how kids analyze primary source documents. And now . . . I’m not really sure.
(Part of the problem was the fact that I was without my laptop for a week, going commando with only an iPad. And in case you’re wondering – iPads and WordPress don’t play nice. I may have used some grownup words in front of small children at one point.)
I would love for you to hang around for the entire thing but I’ll understand that at this point you might just want to go back to watching basketball.
Still here? Great. First, a little context.
We know how powerful the integration of images in our instruction can be for our students. Part of the problem is actually finding images to use. The Library of Congress and the National Archives have some great stuff. But where else can you go when you need photos?
I’ve written a ton about where to find photos and how to use them. And I recently ran across a handy site focusing on historical images. Called Old Pictures, the site organizes its collection by themes and has some nice stuff.
Need more? Try some of these:
Multimedia Presentation Resources for Teachers
Access to a wide range of copyright free resources
Digital Librarian: Images
Huge collection of resources
7,700 pictures from around the world
New York Public Library Photo Collection
30,000 digitized images from books, magazines & newspapers also original photographs, prints and postcards
NYPL’s Digital Gallery
Tons of historical documents!
Copyright-friendly images for educators
Easy to use digital library illustrating more than 200 years of history
Picsearch – The Search Engine for Pictures
Pictures of Places
A directory of links to websites providing pictures of geographical places and sights
Free educational use of tons of history related images
Yesterday was a good day.
Any time that I can spend with social studies teachers, talk history content, and share ideas about instructional best practices has got to be a good day. That was yesterday.
But I noticed something. A lot of what we were doing revolved around visual things, not just text. We always think about social studies being a text-based activity. Documents and text books handouts and lots of paper. But much of what we did yesterday involved images and maps, Google Earth and videos.
Part of it is that I truly am a visual learning and so my brain naturally tilts in that direction. But good instructional practice and brain research is telling us that using visuals is a great way for content to connect with kids.
A recent addition to the visual toolbox we have access to is the infographic. So what’s an infographic?
In my world for the next few weeks, it’s all social studies, Common Core, state standards, and best practices all the time. I get to lead and be part of a wide variety of sessions and trainings that focus on integrating our new state standards with high quality social studies instruction.
Yeah. I know. Great times!
So I’ve been looking around for ideas and examples and resources and just whatever else might be useful for teachers. Some of us were looking for a nice way to help teachers meet the following literacy piece that is part of both the Common Core and the Kansas state social studies standards:
analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.
I walked in late and I love this session already. Three people from several Smithsonian art museums are highlighting some of the ways teachers can use artwork and portraits as teaching tools. And the stuff they’re sharing is pretty sweet. The content is focused on the Civil War era but you could do this kind of thing with just about any period.
You can find most of it online at their Civil War with Art exhibit. Be sure to also check out their Teachers Guide page with stuff on a variety of topics including Reconstruction, Native Americans, and Manifest Destiny.
A couple of sample activities: