I had the chance last week to spend a very fun afternoon with an energetic group of elementary teachers. I always enjoy chatting with K-6 folks. (I just don’t know how they get up every morning and keep going back. Because, seriously . . . grade school kids freak me out. They smell funny, they always seem to be sticky for some reason, and they throw up at the most awkward moments. So God bless anyone willing to spend all day, every day with anybody under the age of 12.) Part of our conversation centered around planning different units in a year long scope and sequence at various grade levels. And some of the discussion revolved around possible essential / compelling questions that might anchor each of those units. I don’t get the chance to have these kinds of discussions with K-6 people much – when I do, it’s always a good time. Once they start rolling, it’s hard to get them to slow down. We started with the basics:
What does a good compelling question look like?
And quickly moved on to the one that they really wanted to know:
Where can we find some already created?
Just a reminder. This is not just K-6. Compelling questions are something all of us need to be incorporating into unit and lesson designs. So . . . what do they look like? A great place to start is with the College, Career, and Civic Life document from the National Council for the Social Studies. The document does a great job of articulating the importance of a robust compelling question: Read more
This morning, Deb Brown and I presented a workshop on different strategies elementary teachers can use in their classrooms.
We had a great time!
If you’re interested, we put all of the goodies in a Dropbox folder. You can get the Read more
I am so looking forward to this session. This is very cool.
Seriously. How cool is it to listen to stories from people like this?
The daughter of Fred Korematsu, Karen Korematsu; Anthony Chavez, the grandson of Cesar Chávez; and Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., the great great great grandson of Frederick Douglass and great great grandson of Booker T. Washington are sharing stories personal anecdotes about their famous relatives and talking about how their work reflects the legacies of these great Americans. How do descendants of human and civil rights heroes continue the work of their famous ancestors?
Some amazing stories but a few quick quotes. And at the bottom of the post, links to amazing resources and lesson plans. Read more
An interesting conversation that I joined late. Members of the NCSS Technology Community are working to develop policy and recommendations that they will deliver to the NCSS Board of Directors.
It’s an important conversation that I wish we could spend more time with this topic. Very interesting topic.
And it’s not just whether or not we use tools, it’s the actual use of the tools. As Dr. Joe O’Brien said,
Leaving the house without your phone is like leaving the house without your pants.
Tech, especially social media, is literally becoming something we wear and that is part of who we are. What impact does social media have on society? On politics? On economics? On advertising?
We need to be teaching kids this content. Because this sort of content will probably more important than when Lincoln was elected.
FInd resources here.
Presented by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, my #NCSS14 session two focused on ways to engage students directly with actual issues in their communities through direct civic action.
They suggest that you can turn your government classroom into a hands-on civics lab to teach the workings of government by empowering students.
They shared about their Civics Action Project, a Read more
I have everything I need. Caffeine, danish, internet access, power outlet, and 10,000 social studies teachers all in one place.
The Digital Journey: 1:1 in Social Studies. In 2009, the Vincennes Lincoln High School Social Studies department in Vincennes, Indiana began what it called a “digital journey.” I had a chance to hear the group speak several years ago and am curious on how things are going.
And to steal all of their great ideas.