With its comprehensive collection of CCSS-ELA graphic organizers, The Visual Edge provides a very visible way for students in grades 6-12 to approach Common Core-related standards. Teacher-reviewer Joyce Depenbusch has numerous suggestions for the next edition.
After many years teaching high school & college students, Lauren Brown re-entered a middle school classroom last fall as a full-time social studies teacher. She describes her delight with young adolescents who greeted history with enthusiasm and deep discussions.
In “Text Structures From the Masters,” educators Gretchen Bernabei and Jennifer Koppe did the hard work for English and social studies teachers of grades 6–10 when they collected 50 quality, nonfiction mentor texts and created an easy-to-follow lesson structure for each one.
Today’s history students need to include evaluation, analysis, and synthesis in writing assignments, going well beyond the traditional reporting of facts. Shara Peters and Jody Passanisi share their methods for helping students improve their writing skills.
How to fit it all in? For Mary Tarashuk, switching classes with a 4th grade team teacher is helpful. He takes science; she takes history. One downside: her homeroom kids get extra history instruction through their ELA studies. Might “platooning” be better?
Project-based learning in history class can be challenging as teachers juggle a content-laden curriculum and limited class time. Shara and Jody and their tech colleague Doug Hinko set out to find practical ways to make PBL work with a unit on medieval China.
The debate about whether to teach history thematically or chronologically still captivates & frustrates Sarah Cooper. As she considers her time-hopping unit on federalism, she wonders which approach can best inspire students to apply more history to their lives.
Song parodies can help students in history class create connections for themselves as they write their own lyrics about important events. As it turns out, writing songs in groups can also invoke 8th grade social machinations, teacher Jody Passanisi reports.
In earlier years Jody Passanisi provided sources to her 8th grade history students. More recently, as they look to the Internet for information, she finds they need to understand not only how to cite sources they uncover but also why they need to credit ideas.
Most public school students take a US History course at least three times during their K12 careers. So why don’t they know more about America’s story? History educator Lauren S. Brown offers three ideas to help better focus teachers and engage students.