When our social studies bloggers planned their U.S. History curriculum, they made sure to add contemporary music. The lyrics of rap and country decontextualize historical themes and let students make connections tying the past to the present.
Author: Jody & Shara
Pressed for time at the end of the year but determined to engage her history students in the post-Civil War era, Jody Passanisi turned to a pre-made lesson from SHEG. Before long her students were debating the impact of Reconstruction on American history.
In Making History Mine, Sarah Cooper shows how teachers can help students answer the age-old question: Why should I care about all this stuff? Cooper’s pedagogical approach “leads us down a path that helps our students make these stories come alive.”
Students in Jody Passanisi’s inquiry-driven Civil War technology unit see the value of grit firsthand as they attempt to build a simple telegraph. After some setbacks, the messages travel the wires, and the kids get a taste of self-efficacy. The teacher’s challenge: Letting them struggle.
Can speculation about alternate history and “what-if” scenarios help students sharpen their critical thinking skills? Participants in a recent Twitter hashtag chat think so, as MiddleWeb history bloggers Jody Passanisi and Shara Peters report.
Ever struggle to find a balance between crafting good lessons and staying spontaneous? History teachers Jody and Shara describe their well-honed four step process that begins with backward design and ends with reflections in their purple notebook.
Most history teachers know the value of collaborative projects, but students often struggle over who does the work. Our bloggers Jody & Shara offer some ideas about turning groups into teams and getting each student to carry a fair share of the load.
Historical accounts are seldom objective, write history teachers Jody Passanisi and Shara Peters. They recommend several strategies from their own classrooms that educators can use to help students detect bias and compare varying perspectives.
History teachers can adopt flipped teaching techniques and remain true to their constructivist pedagogy, says Jody Passanisi. In her classroom, Passanisi creates videos that walk students through classroom procedures, explain tricky assignments, model writing or review test concepts — “anything procedural or to supply basic information.” The time she saves is invested in deeper study and individual help.
Our bloggers share a unit that helps students understand the American Revolution from the perspective of characters who had to choose sides.