While it is possible, I suppose, to teach social studies and history without primary sources, it’s probably not a good idea. And while there are more and more places to find primary sources, it can still be difficult to track down stuff that you can use.
It’s can be especially difficult finding newspapers.
Enter Google News.
Google News is already an awesome tool for finding resources for current events around the world. But if you know where to look, Google News is also great for finding old newspapers for use in your instruction.
Steps? Read more
I spent most of the day today talking iPads with K-12 teachers in all contents. But I have to admit – my favorite part of the day was the two hours spent with social studies teachers.
We chatted about a variety of things but the focus was on iPad apps and activities that aligned to my recently released C4 Framework for the Social Studies. For those unfamiliar with the C4 Framework, we’ve broken down the NCSS national social studies standards, the Common Core literacy standards for the social studies, and the new Kansas social studies standards into four easy to follow themes that can help you plan high-quality lessons and units.
The idea behind the C4 Framework is to incorporate each of the following items into your lesson and units: Read more
I don’t think my daughter would mind me telling you that she loves Marvel Comics. I also don’t think she is the only kid out there that loves Marvel Comics. Or DC Comics. Or the X-Men. O superheroes in general.
A lot of your kids are huge into comic books and graphic novels. I’ve said it many times, most recently regarding the Hunger Games series:
Some suggest that we shouldn’t have to use pop culture to teach social studies. I disagree. I will use pretty much whatever it takes to engage kids in content. And if the relationship between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale hooks students into a better understanding of civic and geographic concepts, we ought to be all over it.
The same thing can be said about the whole Marvel Comic world. It just seems like a great way to integrate reading and writing skills into your instruction. But I haven’t played in that world enough to put ideas and lessons and materials together so they can be used in the classroom.
The good news? Read more
It was the best of the times. It was the worst of times.
The last session of the weekend. Good? Because I’m tired. Bad? Because . . . duh, no more hanging out with, and learning from, other social studies nerds.
But I am looking forward to this session. The focus is on First Amendment rights, Mary Beth Tinker, and citizenship in the 21st century educational world. Mary Beth is one of the Tinkers in Tinker vs. Des Moines, the landmark Supreme Court case that outlines the First Amendment rights of students.
She’s here. (How cool is that?) And she’s talking about how her case is being defined and how it should be defined in the current world of social media and technology. (how cool would it be to be able to say “my Supreme Court case?) Need a more in-depth review of the case? Head to Oyez site.
Mary Beth is working with the Newseum and the Student Press Law Center to educate kids about their rights. And perhaps more importantly, educators. The question they are focusing on?
What is the schoolhouse gate in the 21st century? Read more
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to spend five days with Fritz Fischer at a Gilder Lehrman Summer Seminar. It was awesome. Fritz has been involved in history / social studies issues at the national level for years. He helped write the Colorado state social studies standards and now he’s come out with a great book titled The Memory Hole: The US History Curriculum Under Siege. It’s basically Fritz saving the world. Trust me on this.
The basic premise?
I am afraid that the discipline of social studies is being hijacked.
He calls them anti-historians. Working to insert their own sanitized versions of past events, they misunderstand the purpose of history, and are afraid of the process of history. He suggests that we are moving towards a 1984 Orwellian reality that “reinscribes” events “exactly as often is necessary.” That lives by the phrase “who controls the past controls the future.”
He suggests that
the past is disappearing because many people don’t care about the past but do care about creating a past that supports their view of the present.
The way to prevent this sort of Orwellian possibility is to Read more
I need some energy here. Caffeine is wearing off. But Barb Knighton is on fire. Barb is the NCSS 2013 elementary teacher of the year and rocking it. So I should be good.
She will not be sharing lessons but strategies that can be adapted to just about any grade level or content. She’s got six: Read more