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.
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.
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
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.
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
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