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Posts tagged ‘lesson plans’

Thinking like a historian in the elementary classroom

It’s day two of the Best Practices conference. I love this sort of stuff – the conference isn’t that big but that just means a lot more conversation and working together. So we all are walking away smarter.

This morning’s session is focused on training elementary kids to think like a historian. Lyndsay and Amy are from Olathe, Kansas and are sharing how engaged kids are when they’re asked to solve problems using historical evidence.

They’re big fans of Sam Wineburg’s Stanford History Education Group site and are showing how third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers can use the resources on the site. I especially like the SHEG Historical Thinking Chart and the posters that explain the skills kids need to make sense of evidence.

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World War One posters and artwork

I’m a huge believer in the power of visuals to encourage critical thinking and to support long-term retention. As social studies teachers we need to do a better job of finding ways to integrate visuals such as art and propaganda posters into our instructor.

Stuck for ideas and resources?

Try the Smithsonian.

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Cool College, Career, and Civic Life website for teachers

Last fall, the National Council for the Social Studies published the Social Studies for the Next Generation: Purposes, Practices, and Implications of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards. It’s a mouthful.

The goal was always to create a sort of model for states as they wrote their own state standards –  a guiding document that provides a clear structure for the type of social studies instruction that we all know is good for kids.

. . . the code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules.

Capt Barbossa
Pirates of the Caribbean

And I’ve talked about this a ton – we were writing our state standards at about the same time that the NCSS was finishing up its work. The good news? We’re a lot alike. The focus is on the process of social studies rather than the specific content of social studies.

We want kids to be historical thinkers, solvers of problems, users of evidence  . . . people who can address an un-Googleable question and make sense of it.

I really like them.

But many social studies teachers are still not aware that they exist. And the teachers who are aware of them are quite sure what to do with them. More good news. Read more

The Vault: Super awesome primary source blog and resources

Finding online primary sources is never easy. While there are many online archives and tons of primary sources, we don’t always know where those archives live. Even if you can find a helpful archive online somewhere, it can be difficult tracking down exactly what you’re looking for. (This page might help a little.)

And I’m not sure today’s find is gonna help. But it is a very cool place to find primary sources that are incredibly interesting. Created and maintained by Salon, the site is called The Vault. You gotta love the site’s tagline:

Historical Treasures, Oddities, And Delights

So definitely continue to use to sites such as the Library of Congress, National Archives, and World History Documents but be sure to fav The Vault as well. Because you are going to run across stuff that is perfect for hooking your kids into a specific topic and for building content knowledge.

Some recent examples? Read more

25 ways to use the Library of Congress

I wish I would have thought of this.

I have written about the Library of Congress before. If you know me at all, you know that I love the LOC. You also know that it is an awesome place for you to find incredible resources and lesson plans.

But I have never really put all of the Library of Congress greatness together in one place.

Edudemic has.

Both of us know that so many great resources can be a bit overwhelming. And that it may be difficult for teachers to make sense of how to best use it all.

So . . . Read more

46 free history lessons aligned to Common Core

Free. Aligned to reading, writing, and communicating skills. Written by Gilder Lehrman teachers of the year so you know they’re quality.

What’s not to like?

Gilder Lehrman always has good stuff. If you haven’t already created a free teacher’s account over there, you really need to get on it. The list below is just a sample of the 46 lessons and units you can get on their Teaching Literacy Through History page: Read more

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