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
I’ve been having some interesting conversations over the last few weeks with my buddy Steve. Basically, the conversation has focused on a simple question:
How do teachers know whether they’re good at what they do?
We’ve been trying to figure out what types of data could provide information to help us understand what good teaching actually looks like. Part of that discussion involves asking students to provide part of the data.
But browse through an article, Why Kids Should Grade Teachers, from The Atlantic that discusses the power of student feedback. And you may not agree with all of it. I get that. But the idea still makes sense to me. Kids spent months in our classrooms – their perspective is important in helping us understand the impact we’re having on them, good and bad.
I’ve attached a couple of quick sample surveys. Feel free to adapt them for content and age levels.
But there is other information that can also be useful to answering the original question. We can use all sorts of data to get feedback about quality instruction.
One of the most useful is Read more