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Posts from the ‘current events’ Category

The Vietnam War, Ken Burns, and 7 useful resources

I still remember the week of The Civil War by Ken Burns. It was early in my first teaching position as an 8th grade US history teacher in Derby, America. And it was amazing. So Ken and I have continued to hang out over the last few decades.

Jazz. Baseball. World War II. The Roosevelts.

And now . . . Vietnam.

But this one feels different somehow. Still mesmerizing. Still great production values. Still engaging. Still solid history. But maybe it just feels too recent to be comfortable history.

Vox writer  Read more

Memes: Fun waste of time or incredible literacy integration tool?

We all love a good meme. Visual. Easy to understand. And just the right amount of snark.

But can we use them as part of our instructional designs? Or are they just a questionable way to spend way too much time online? Ask me that question five years ago and I probably would have said waste of time. Fun, sure. But a waste of time.

Now?

I’m starting to believe the combination of visuals and text needed to create a good meme can be used in a variety of ways.

So . . . today, a few meme / social studies / literacy integration ideas: Read more

Be part of a super big lesson plan. (And change the world while you’re at it.)

Some of the best days of the school year are when I get the chance to spend time with the #ESSDACK social studies PLC. Yesterday was one of those days. We talked about a ton of things including the idea of Twitter chats as a professional learning tool. Most of the group already have Twitter accounts and some like @JillWebs@thewarsnak@coachschutte, and @megan_nieman are more serious users. But it was fun working together with the whole group to do a sample online chat with everyone in the room at the same time, exploring the power of scheduled chats. Lots of learning and discussion.

But I’m always amazed at the rabbit hole that you can fall into once you start with the Twitters. And yesterday was no different. As several of us were exploring different social studies hashtags, I ran across something called the World’s Largest Lesson.

The goal of the WLL is simple – support and foster the idea of Sustainable Development Goals.

Several years ago, a ton of world leadership folks got together and finalized 17 different things that will make the world a better place. They titled them the Sustainable Development Goals.

Basic stuff like zero hunger, quality education, reduced inequalities, peace and justice. Yeah. The biggies. Saving the world kinds of things.

The cool thing is that they also developed a plan for actually finding ways to make it happen. To follow through and find solutions.

Another cool thing? Read more

Civics 101: Voting Rights, Women’s Equality Day, and Constitution Day

It’s a little bit the perfect storm. Tomorrow is Women’s Equality Day, Constitution Day is in a few weeks, and Kansas is encouraging schools across the state to develop civic engagement programs.

So it seems like a good time to share a few lessons and resources that focus on voting rights. Use the resources below to help your students develop context, connect past events with contemporary issues, and practice historical thinking skills. Read more

Primary sources, personal stories, and thank you Internet

It’s always fun having my kids around during the summer. We chat about books, take short trips, discuss politics, argue about gardening techniques, and they make fun of my love for the Kansas City Royals.

The youngest one heads back to school in Minnesota in a few weeks. She’s been busy this summer selling snow cones and working in the local library. And . . . wait for it . . .

. . . she’s also spent two days a week as an National Archives unpaid intern at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene. How cool is that? The other day, she got the one on one backstage pass tour of stored artifacts. She knows I love the golf so she made sure to share how, among other things, she held Dwight’s Augusta National member’s green jacket. And his favorite golf hat.

You know. Just rubbing my nose in it.

But she’s also come home excited about Read more

Tip of the Week: Prepping kids for a complex world

Need a brain break? Ready for some current event / world culture / global literacy questions?

Here ya go. Six basic questions covering events of the day and an awareness of the world around you. (Check your work at the bottom of the post.)

1. In which of these countries is a majority of the population Muslim?
a. South Africa
b. Armenia
c. India
d. Indonesia

2. Which language is spoken by the most people in the world as their primary language?
a. Russian
b. Mandarin Chinese
c. English
d. Arabic

3. Which country is the largest trading partner of the United States, based on the total dollar value of goods and services?
a. Canada
b. China
c. Mexico
d. Saudi Arabia

4. Approximately what percentage of the United States federal budget is spent on foreign aid?
a. 1 percent
b. 5 percent
c. 12 percent
d .30 percent
e. 40 percent

5. Which countries is the United States bound by treaty to protect if they are attacked? (select all that apply)
a. Canada
b. China
c. Japan
d. Mexico
e. North Korea
f. Russia
g. South Korea
h. Turkey

6. True or False
Over the past five years, the number of Mexicans leaving the United States and returning to Mexico has been greater than the number of Mexicans entering the United States. Read more