Sarah Cooper is always searching for ways to strengthen her eighth grade unit on the Constitution. This year she deepened her exploration of iCivics and found visually appealing readings and games her students enjoyed. She added sparkle with video and other fun activities.
Category: Future of History
A History and Social Studies blog
Grading never goes away. But what if we approach it as a form of personal PD? Teacher Lauren Brown traces how a history assignment evolved over four years as she paid close attention to what stymied her 8th graders and adapted her instruction to support their learning.
At its best, annotation starts a dialogue between our English and History students and thoughtful writers past and present. But that doesn’t mean adolescents are eager to do it. Sarah Cooper shares ideas and online resources to make the process a true learning experience.
Assigning The Hate U Give as a summer read for history and English eighth graders seemed like a slam dunk to Sarah Cooper and her colleague. Looking back, she weighs the experience to better understand how she can prepare to teach, and then lean into, difficult topics.
The Chicago district where Lauren Brown teaches has been wrestling with issues of equity centering around race with new urgency in recent years. She believes part of the answer is found in revising and deepening the curriculum and teaching Black history throughout the year.
Limiting feedback to final drafts means lots of teacher work and little student learning. What if, Sarah Cooper wondered, she could give students enough scaffolding – using an outline organizer and peer response – that their rough drafts included everything she wanted?
American Indian or Native American? Latina or Latino or Latinx? African American or Black? History teacher Lauren Brown shares activities and resources she uses to help students understand the background and history of such naming choices and why it’s important to teach.
History is not just the causes of the Civil War, reasons for industrial growth, or dates associated with “big events” and major characters. Lauren Brown works to help her middle schoolers understand it’s about ordinary, often archetypal lives of human beings much like us.
How can history students use resource books more effectively in their research papers? Taking a cue from a staff meeting, Sarah Cooper devised a handout to help 8th graders quickly scope out a nonfiction book and find stories and quotes to enliven their papers. It worked!
Returning from the 2018 NCSS conference, Sarah Cooper reignites her US history unit on reformers to deepen student understanding about historical, current and future activism. Learn more about the 10 Changemaker Questions she used to create a sense of action in her classes.