Things for Teachers

Post(s) tagged with "history"

World History Resources from History Tech ⇢

This is a really well-rounded list, although I’d add Flow of History for some upper-level people :). 

Just 13 percent of high school seniors who took the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress — called the Nation’s Report Card — showed solid academic performance in American history. The two other grade levels tested didn’t perform much better, which just 22 percent of fourth-grade students and 18 percent of eighth-graders scoring proficient or better.
The test quizzed students on such topics as colonization, the American Revolution, the Civil War and the contemporary United States. For example, one question asks fourth-graders why it was important for the United States to build canals in the 1800s.


Report: Students don’t know much about history - US news - Life - (via infoneer-pulse)

What I tell my students all the time: history is important! Unfortunately, sometimes it is overlooked.

Teacher Girl: A Self Portrait: EW: Collection of the Essentials: Content Areas--Social Studies ⇢


You’ll remember a short time ago, I posted an entry in response to a Tumbrl teacher’s request for history websites. Beyond the half dozen “gems” I included, I have a BUNCH more to share! (If you missed that first post, you’ll find those initial links below!


Earlier today the Library of Congress unveiled a project that, now that it’s here, I can’t imagine why it didn’t get here sooner, the National Jukebox. Now you can hear some of the rare audio recordings at the Library without having to schlep your Victrola to Washington, DC. 

(via The Maddow Blog - Library of Coolness)


Earlier today the Library of Congress unveiled a project that, now that it’s here, I can’t imagine why it didn’t get here sooner, the National Jukebox. Now you can hear some of the rare audio recordings at the Library without having to schlep your Victrola to Washington, DC. 

(via The Maddow Blog - Library of Coolness)

iLearn Technology: The Annex ⇢

As a history teacher, I couldn’t resist sharing this post. Click through to read the rest of iLearn Technology’s description of this resource.

What it is: The Secret Annex lets students travel back in time to Anne Frank’s hiding place.  Students can explore Anne’s house in a super cool 3D interactive environment.  The Secret Annex gives students an authentic feel for the place where Anne wrote her diary while listening to stories of everyone who lived in the hiding place.  In addition to the 3D hiding place, students can review historical archive material about the war and view unique TV broadcasts where memories are shared.

A Twitter Timeline on the Killing of Osama Bin Laden ⇢


Mediashift compiled a timeline of tweets surrounding the death of Osama bin Laden. “It started with a few innocent tweets from an IT consultant, Sohaib Athar (@ReallyVirtual), who had left Lahore, Pakistan, to live in a quiet area that he figured was more safe. That just happened to be near Osama bin Laden’s compound, where he reported on the helicopter landing first-hand. He went from a few hundred followers on Twitter to more than 62,000, and counting.” Shared by Reporter-Producer, Local/National Lauren Knapp Lauren Knapp Reporter-Producer, Local/National PBS NewsHour 3620 S. 27th St. Arlington, VA 22206 Follow: @LCKnapp & @NewsHour»»

Reblogging because this could be interesting to use in the classroom.

What today meant for me as a history teacher

Wake up: 5am. Turn on the news.

Realize bin Laden has been killed (as you can guess from my wake up time, I was not up when the news was released last night).

Scrap my plans for the day and frantically read news articles/hunt down video clips until I have to be ready for homeroom at 6:55.

Watch the president’s speech for the first time with my 2nd period students (Youtube views at this point, around 8:20am: around 90,000).

My assistant principal stepped in for the discussion 6th period. His smartphone went off in the middle of it, with a news update announcing that bin Laden’s DNA had been confirmed.

Watch the president’s speech for the 5th time with my 8th period students (Youtube views at this point, around 1:20pm: around 730,000), and a lot more information has been released.

Answer lots and lots of questions.

Best of History Websites ⇢

Here’s a great collection of resources for all areas/grade levels of history teachers. Thanks History Tech for sharing this resource.

How I used & Wordle to teach Enlightenment ideas

In my curriculum, the Enlightenment is given enough time to be a sort of “mini-unit” or introduction to the French Revolution. My objective was for my students to understand the changes the Enlightenment thinkers wanted made to government. I used this lesson to introduce the various Enlightenment philosophes and their ideas. It took 2 45-minute class periods.

Day 1:

When my students came into the room, they were assigned groups using the method I explained in this post. At each group of 4 desks, I placed 4 sheets of lined paper and  4 biographies that explained background/beliefs of various Enlightenment philosophes (I found these at World History For Us All). The lined paper also had a color written on the top (to be used later).

I explained to my students their objective for the 2-day lesson (we post objectives in the form of Essential Questions, so their question was “What changes did Enlightenment thinkers want made to government?”) and gave them a brief setting for the unit.

Then, I instructed them that each group member would read about an individual Enlightenment thinker and take notes on the lined paper on their beliefs about government. Then, they would be compiling the information as a class and creating their own notes on the topic.

When each group member completed that task, they had to get a netbook from me (I checked out the netbook cart at my school for the day). Each group got one netbook. Each class period was given a document to collaborate on ( is a service which allows multiple people to collaborate on one document simultaneously, no accounts needed). Each group was instructed to type in their Group Number as the name in and to change their color to the color listed on lined paper.

The students were really amazed with the fact that they could see each other creating the notes. I also projected the notes at the front of the classroom as they were being typed. They were able to complete the notes in that class period.

Note about It did give me some downtime issues that day, and my 4th period class wasn’t able to access the doc. Always have a back up plan- I had them type their notes onto a Word Doc and hand it in using my link.

Next: I threw their notes into Wordle and use the images to convey the main ideas. To read about how I conducted Day 2 of this lesson using Wordle and the notes students created, click through the “Read More” link.

After school: I copied and pasted each document into a Word Doc, formatted it so it was uniform, and made enough copies for each student in each class period. I also put the words from each doc into Wordle to show which words were repeated the most in their notes. I did take out the philosophe names in Wordle, as their notes were broken down by philosophe.

Day 2:

Again, students were broken into groups as they entered the room (they did not work in the same groups as Day 1). Each group was given a large poster paper and markers. I reminded them of the Essential Question for the lesson and told them that today they would be finding the “Big Ideas” about government in the Enlightenment.

I distributed copies of the notes to the students and explained what I had done with them. I also projected the Wordle image for that class period and explained what the word cloud represents. I had 4 separate Wordle images for 4 separate classes, but here’s one example:

I told them to share out the words that were the biggest, and I highlighted them on the Smartboard.

Then, I gave them their assignment instructions. Using the notes that their class had created and the word cloud, each group needed to come up with 3 statements that summarized “Big Ideas of the Enlightenment.” The statements should include some of the big words we just highlighted, as they represent the main ideas of the philosophes.

The groups did a great job with it. We had statements like “They wanted government power to come from the people,” “Religion should be separate from government,” “People are born with natural rights,” “Power of the government should be limited,” which are all the conclusions I had hoped they would come to.


Need some more history music videos, like the 95 theses rap or The Gaga French Revolution?

Well, you’re welcome, American History teachers.  


Who I am: A fourth year high school history teacher at an urban(ish) high school in New Jersey.

What I blog about: Stuff related to education I like, and stuff I hope can help other teachers out. Technology, deals on supplies, helpful books. My focus lately is on educational technology & related resources. Occasionally, I also post things related to education reform. Because I post articles that I feel will be of interest to teachers with varying views, the political-related posts made here do not necessarily reflect my beliefs or opinions, nor do they reflect the beliefs of my employer.

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