That day you left your notes at home. Or taught a stupendous lesson that left kids bored. Or found a student’s super essay was all plagiarized. Or arranged a special speaker only to learn about a conflicting event. Middle school teacher Lauren Brown offers solace and a mood lifting idea.
Category: Future of History
A History and Social Studies blog
It’s at the precise moment when students are bombarded by facts, whether historical or current, that we need to be especially vigilant, writes American history and current events teacher Sarah Cooper, paraphrasing historian Sam Wineburg. Sifting through sources has become a life skill.
Sam Wineburg’s new book Why Learn History (When It’s Already on Your Phone) is a game changer, writes Sarah Cooper. Here she focuses on his ideas for teaching students to evaluate websites laterally in addition to vertically, in the manner of professional fact checkers.
Linking one event or person to later developments opens history students up to seeing how pieces of the massive puzzle of the past fit together and how the issues we face today developed. Lauren Brown shares several engaging strategies to help make those connections.
While photos and texts can bring alive an issue one medium at a time, reality-based comics have the power to drop us into a story both visually and verbally. Sarah Cooper’s eighth grade students learned that lesson when they followed the trek of Syrian refugee Mohammad.
After three hate crimes in one week in late October, 8th grade teacher Sarah Cooper came in on Monday ready to talk, “to imagine how we could react in healing ways.” Yet, as her first class began, “I realized this conversation would be different. As a Jew, I felt shaken.”
Lesson plan improvement notes written a year ago may not be as useful as you now wish they were. That’s what Lauren Brown discovered when she tried to decipher scribbled comments on materials from last fall. Learn some of her ideas to lessen the need for total recall.
Sarah Cooper’s world has expanded since she became a podcast convert. She’s found many podcasts to love: Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History, Jennifer Gonzalez’s Cult of Pedagogy and more. Among her top favorites is “Teaching Hard History” from Teaching Tolerance.
Current events add immediacy to history class, but with crowded curricula and the challenges of the political climate, Sarah Cooper is fine-tuning the news discussions in her 8th grade classes. She shares several stories and explains what makes them right for fall 2018.
As schools reopen, Lauren Brown revisits the essentials of history teaching in a time when authoritarianism is in the air. Central are not only caring about individuals in the next generation but also being ‘keepers of the meaning’ when established values are challenged.