One of the most popular posts that I've written on this blog is Great TED Talks for English Teachers from 2010. Sure, it's a listicle, but given the sheer number of TED talks, folks have said that the post has been helpful to them in suggesting some talks with which to start. I'm currently teaching history … Continue reading Great TED Talks for History Teachers
Perhaps the biggest hit of the Forgotten Presidents mini-unit was making paper hats, inspired by this piece of McKinley campaign paraphernalia. As silly as this may seems (and there's nothing wrong with some silliness, mind you), the neat thing was that students seemed to really latch on to the presidents they chose to make hats for. A … Continue reading Millard Fillmore for Life!
In the last weeks of school, the other 8th grade US history teacher and I survey students to gauge their interest in topics we've haven't covered that year. We then compile their responses and the teach classes on the topics that emerge as the favorites by class. Since we teach overlapping periods for most of … Continue reading Forgotten Presidents
I received an email last night notifying me that I'd been accepted to the Library of Congress's Summer Teacher Institute. The STI focuses on helping teachers develop lessons based on the primary sources available in the LoC's collection. I am super-excited about the opportunity, both for the work we'll do at the STI and the … Continue reading Primary Sources
Over the next several weeks, students in my Upper School class will begin teaching the class on their self-selected topics. Teaching the class is part of the cumulative project for the class. Students have been researching their topics and interviewing an expert about the topic. One of the challenges of asking students to select topics that … Continue reading (De)Constructing Texts
Prior to a quiz on the early and mid-1800s (primarily focused on events leading to the Civil War) in 8th grade history, I asked students to make conceptual maps of the people, places, and ideas that we had studied. I broke students into groups of three or four and gave each group a large piece … Continue reading Seeing the Connections
As part of our Revolutionary War unit in the 8th grade, students have a choice of different projects to give them the opportunity to explore aspects of the war we don't cover in class. This year I added an option that asked students to play the game For Crown or Colony? and write a review … Continue reading For Learning or Fun?