iCivics just added something new. Yup. Primary Sources.
We’re all familiar with iCivics, right? The government / civics centric website created with the encouragement and support of former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Conner? The site with remote learning resources for parents and teachers?
With literally hundreds of lessons, simulations, and games – all designed to help you help your kids understand the importance of civics? With many in Spanish? With updated activities focused on media literacy? And some sweet PD webinars and videos built in?
All for free?
No? Well . . . there’s no better time than the summer months to poke around and find some stuff perfect for your grade band and content. Cause, trust me when I tell you this, you’re gonna find some things. Lots of things. Lots of free things.
Head over there now and spend a few hours. Then come back here to take the next step. Cause there’s a next step.
And if you’re already familiar with iCivics, awesome. You’re ready for the iCivics next step.
A focus on primary sources.
For the last few years, the Library of Congress and its very cool Teaching with Primary Sources program has been working with a variety of organizations to develop primary source / historical thinking tools for teachers and students. You may have heard of some of these – DBQuest, KidCitizen, and others. They’ve always been available but were really never packaged together in one easy to find, easy to use, place.
But recently the Library partnered with iCivics to package all of these different tools together on one site.
Titled iCivics: Exploring Primary Sources, the site provides a simple way to access all of these K-12 tools quickly and easily. The seven tools and apps provide ready to use activities and lesson plans specifically designed to support historical thinking through the use of primary sources. iCivics has also created a simple filtering system that can help you select just the right tool for your grade and content.
You can also find a handy collection of videos that you can use to gain a deeper understanding of why and how to integrate primary sources into your instruction.
The iCivics: Exploring Primary Sources site is basically your portal to primary source / historical thinking nirvana. Within the seven tools and apps, you’re going to find teaching and learning activities ranging from primary source basics designed for elementary students all the way up to sophisticated activities asking high schools students to make high level claims using multiple sources. You can find short, medium, or longer lesson plans. You’ll find videos. Special professional learning tools. Handouts. Downloads. Videos. C3 Inquiry Arc alignments.
These sites, and their resources, need to be part of your teaching tool belt.
Take some time this summer to dig into the sites that align to your grade level and content. We know that kids need these resources and tools to be effective citizens. So begin thinking about places where these activities fit best and start planning now to integrate them into your instructional designs.
Glenn is a curriculum and integration specialist, speaker, and blogger with a passion for technology and social studies. He provides engaging professional learning activities across the country with a focus on consulting, presentations, and keynotes. Find out more about Glenn and how you might learn together by going to his Work with Me page.