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Posts tagged ‘graphic organizer’

Tip of the Week: Sourcing Overlay Strategy

First things first. If you haven’t hung out at Russell Tarr’s Toolbox, you need to head over there when we’re finished here. Russell has been creating and sharing cool tools for social studies teachers forever and it’s all incredibly handy stuff. (You might have run across Russell’s ideas before on his Active History or ClassTools.net sites.)

About a month ago, I was on his site and ran across something that I thought was very cool. I’d been searching for ideas on how to help elementary kids source evidence. You know – author, date created, audience, intent, the sort of questions that are the foundation of historical thinking.

My goto strategy has been one shared by the Library of Congress that helps kids all the way down to kindergarten start the process of historical thinking – by training them to ask questions about primary sources. The LOC example focuses on the idea of Read more

Holiday Goodie Rerun V: Cubing

I’m sure most of you are doing the same thing I’m doing right now. Spending time with family and friends, watching football, catching up on that book you’ve been dying to read, eating too much, and enjoying the occasional nap.

Between now and the first week in January, you’ll get a chance to re-read some of the top posts of 2014. I may decide to jump in with something current but if I don’t, enjoy this Holiday Goodie rerun.

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Cubing is a technique used by teachers around the country. It can help prepare students for reading or writing activities by having them think about a specific topic on six levels of cognition. It can also be used to focus on building vocabulary.

Cubing can be done on an individual level or as an entire class. Students use a six-sided cube to help them organize and record their thinking.

Steps for Cubing: Read more

Holiday Goodie Rerun I: Thought bubbles on photos

I’m sure most of you are doing the same thing I’m doing right now. Spending time with family and friends, watching football, catching up on that book you’ve been dying to read, eating too much, and enjoying the occasional nap.

Between now and the first week in January, you’ll get a chance to re-read some of the top posts of 2014. I may decide to jump in with something current but if I don’t, enjoy this Holiday Goodie rerun.

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Several of us were talking a few days ago about different ways to design hook activities that would engage kids while also encourage writing skills.

My favorite is to use thought bubbles on paintings or photos. Thought Bubbles ask kids to imagine what the people in the image are thinking.

Start by finding a photo or painting depicting an event, idea or group of people that helps introduce your content. I used the famous Emmanuel Leutze painting of Washington crossing the Delaware as my starting point.

Read more

Symbols, symbolism, and a sweet T-Chart

Just a quick post today about a very powerful strategy that’s pretty easy to integrate into your instruction. I had the privilege of sitting in on Scott’s 7th grade classroom last week when he used this activity with his kids.

Scott and his kids had just started a unit on territorial Kansas and he wanted students to get a sense of the tension that was building at the time around the issue of slavery.

His school is in the Topeka area and all of students have been to the state capital. And all of them, whether they remembered or not, have seen the massive John Steuart Curry mural of John Brown. At 11.5 feet tall and 31 feet wide, there’s a lot of stuff going on in the painting and Scott really wanted his kids to spend some quality time analyzing the content in the mural. Read more

History Nerd Fest 2013 – Historical thinking in ancient times

Seriously. If I start dozing off, somebody should nudge me. It’s after lunch Day Two and it’s gonna be a struggle. But I am in a decent sounding session – thinking historically with world history documents. So I’m sure I’m gonna be okay.

I’m constantly hearing from 6th grade teachers who are struggling to find and use primary sources with ancient history content and am hoping Matt Elms and Doug Behse are going to help.

Matt and Doug, from a middle school in Singapore, are sharing their strategies for historical thinking with ancient world history. Much of what they do is based on the work of Sam Wineburg and his stuff at the Stanford History Education Group. They also use a scaffolding tool they call SCAN. They noticed kids whipping through primary sources. And were concerned.

SCAN helps Read more

Tip of the Week: iPhone from the past

I’ve spent the last few weeks having a great time with teachers and iOS 7, learning tools and sharing ideas. During a conversation yesterday, another social studies guy and I started talking about ways to use cell phones as instructional tools. He mentioned a photo he had recently seen with Abe Lincoln holding a cell phone.

And, yes, we went there.

Who was Lincoln texting on the way to the play?

Too soon?

But that image did lead to a much more appropriate conversation. As in . . . if historical characters would have had access to an iPhone, what would have been on it? And could we use that sort of question with kids to help introduce content or to assess learning?

We figured yes. So I quickly fashioned a graphic organizer that you can use to help kids brainstorm and discuss historical content. Read more

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