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Posts tagged ‘history movies’

Top Ten Posts of 2015 #4: 10 movies every social studies teacher should see

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 the top ten posts of 2015. Enjoy the reruns. See you in January!

——-

Okay, I lied.

I started off with the idea that I could create a short little list of my ten favorite social studies related movies. But I was wrong. As I started thinking about great history movies and talking with others, the list grew quickly. And I couldn’t narrow it down to just ten. Then it got worse. This month’s Social Education journal showed up in my mailbox with their movie list.

So.

Things have changed. I created a list of my ten favorite history movies, a list of other history movies, and another list of great feel-good teacher movies. The criteria for inclusion on the list is pretty simple – if the movie appears while channel surfing, it takes control of the remote and must be watched through the credits.

Enjoy.

My favorites in no particular order: Read more

Historical TV, videos, and history teachers

We’re all very aware of the stereotypical social studies teacher. Former jock. Current coach. Always busy with game plans and practice schedules. Hands out worksheet packets on Monday with a test on Friday. Constantly interspersed with movies and videos along the way.

We also know that the stereotype very seldom rings true. I was a coach for years. We all know great social studies teachers who teach and coach. I get the chance to wander the world working with all sorts of excellent social studies teachers. Keil Hileman in the Kansas City metro area district of De Soto uses 25,000 historical artifacts as part of instruction. He was the Kansas teacher of the year several years ago. Nathan Mcalister in Royal Valley MS simulates Civil War surgery with original medical tools, hosts a yearly history fair with kids hacking out canoes and building sod houses. His kids pushed an actual bill through both houses of the Kansas legislature and was later selected as the 2010 Gilder Lehrman national teacher of the year.

Kori Green routinely connects her students with kids around the world in live chats as they solve authentic problems. Jon Bauer teaches in one of the most isolated places in the state of Kansas while implementing all sorts of powerful learning activities. Activities such as having 8th graders rank historical events and developing a March Madness tournament as an end of year summative assessment. Jill Weber uses a variety of technologies to encourage high levels of learning including a TV Reality Show Pitch.

And yes. There are some teachers who perhaps could work a bit harder on their instructional design. I’ve seen those as well. But here’s the thing. Read more

Holiday Goodie Rerun II: 10 movies every social studies teacher should see

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.

————-

Okay, I lied.

I started off with the idea that I could create a short little list of my ten favorite social studies related movies. But I was wrong. As I started thinking about great history movies and talking with others, the list grew quickly. And I couldn’t narrow it down to just ten. Then it got worse. This month’s Social Education journal showed up in my mailbox with their movie list.

So.

Things have changed. I created a list of my ten favorite history movies, a list of other history movies, and another list of great feel-good teacher movies. The criteria for inclusion on the list is pretty simple – if the movie appears while channel surfing, it takes control of the remote and must be watched through the credits.

Enjoy.

My favorites in no particular order: Read more

History? I love History! and other fun video tools

I love history. Most people do. At least they do once they graduate from high school. Historical fiction, biographies, history related movies. All end up on best seller and highest grossing movie lists.

There are lots of reasons why this seems to be true. Part of the problem is how it’s taught in school. And part of that problem is that we often don’t use video and movies correctly. Even my daughter knows this:

Don’t show a super long movie over three or four class periods. Especially if there’s no clear reason for me having to watch it.

I’ve written about using movies here and here but I started thinking this week about what sorts of useful clips live online. And some quick looking around revealed a variety of handy tools.

The UK Scholastic people have a very cool site called Horrible Histories. They’ve posted short clips of their longer videos on YouTube. A great way to introduce historical topics or as reflection/writing prompts.

My favorite? Historical Wife Swap Ancient Greece. Athenian and Spartan wives swap families ala the current reality television show.

Another handy online video clip site is Crash Course: World History. You’ll find quirky videos on a wide variety of historical topics. These are a bit longer than the Horrible History clips at about 12 minutes or so. And they are a bit more upper level. But still a lot of fun and a good way to introduce different historical periods and topics.

(The bonus thing? These sorts of videos seem much better suited for “flipping” history classrooms than some of the clunky Khan Academy type videos out there.)

What history based video sites am I missing?

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10 movies every social studies teacher should see

Okay, I lied.

I started off with the idea that I could create a short little list of my ten favorite social studies related movies. But I was wrong. As I started thinking about great history movies and talking with others, the list grew quickly. And I couldn’t narrow it down to just ten. Then it got worse. This month’s Social Education journal showed up in my mailbox with their movie list.

So.

Things have changed. I created a list of my ten favorite history movies, a list of other history movies, and another list of great feel-good teacher movies. The criteria for inclusion on the list is pretty simple – if the movie appears while channel surfing, it takes control of the remote and must be watched through the credits.

Enjoy.

My favorites in no particular order:

  • Band of Brothers
    Yes, technically a mini-series. But I love the story of Dick Winters and the others who were a part of Easy Company.
  • Glory
    Robert Gould Shaw leads the US Civil War’s first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices of both his own Union army and the Confederates.
  • Gettysburg
    Based on the book The Killer Angels, this is a long movie but it does a good job of depicting weapons, tactics, and beliefs during the Civil War.
  • Schindler’s List
    Based on the true story of Oskar Schindler who managed to save about 1100 Jews from being gassed at the Auschwitz concentration camp. A testament for the good in all of us.
  • The Help
    Unlikely friendships, empowerment, and the 1960s segregated South. What else do you need for a great story?
  • All the President’s Men
    Not as detailed as the book but easier to follow, this is basically a documentary about the Bill of Rights.
  • 1776
    Yes. It’s a musical. But a funny, fairly historically accurate musical.
  • The Mission
    Perhaps the best I’ve ever seen for depicting European colonization and expansion.
  • Hotel Rwanda
    Danger. Bravery. Evil. Courage. This story of genocide exposes both the good and bad in people.
  • Gandhi
    An awesome story depicting human courage fighting for human rights against the machine of British colonialism.

Other great history movies

  • Saving Private Ryan
  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
  • The Last of the Mohicans
  • Dances with Wolves
  • Mississippi Burning
  • The Boy in Striped Pajamas
  • Gladiator
  • Braveheart
  • Letters from Iwo Jima
  • To Kill A Mocking Bird
  • Memphis Belle
  • Dr. Strangelove
  • Amistad

Feel-Good Teacher Movies

  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
    As social studies teachers, this is about the best non-example I can think of. Plus, well . . . it’s hilarious.
  • The Freedom Writers
    Teaching tolerance and grading tons of papers is not easy.
  • Dead Poet’s Society
    Captain, my captain. Emotional connections to content make all the difference.
  • October Sky
    Perseverance and supportive teachers can change lives.
  • Stand and Deliver
    This is a great movie about reaching students who feel like they have no hope of success in their life.
  • Teachers
    “Half of these kids aren’t coming back.” “Yeah. But the other half is.” Best line ever.
  • School of Rock
    Differentiated instruction and Jack Black. Enough said.
  • Searching for Bobby Fischer
    Pushy parents and pushy teachers are not always the best thing for bright kids.
  • The Emperor’s Club
    I like the interaction between teacher and students. And the teacher’s concern for quality.
  • Akeelah and the Bee
    There are all sorts of ways to learn and to make friends.

What would you add to the list? What you would delete?

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