I love teaching about the Renaissance. One way to get my students interested and STAY interested in this topic, is to take virtual field trips using Google Earth (Internet access required and only works on some devices like Chromebooks). If you cannot access Google Earth, use the Vatican's virtual tours link. Have students "wander" around in the museum for ten minutes and then have them write a short response of what it was like in the Sistine Chapel. They can also take screen shots of their favorite artwork and try to find the painter/ sculpture and write a brief biography.
Instead of a "physical interactive notebook" my students have Online Interactive Notebooks. I call these notebooks "Hidden Histories" in which I focus on people who are marginalized or not mentioned in history. For my first digital notebook of the year I have students learn about the basics of History and provide them many prompts for reflection. Use this free resource to help your students start thinking about where history comes from.
How to implement the Digital Notebook?
If you have access to technology students can complete a little at a time (or make it an independent assignment). If students do not have access to the internet these documents can be printed out display a question or prompt on the screen and students can write responses on paper.
If you click the image below it will take you to an online google document. Make a copy of the document and feel free to modify for your class.
Every year, my school site hosts a school wide Project Based Learning Event called "Symposium." This year as GATE coordinator I have put my own spin on the project and developed Curriculum for our students. I developed a six week project for our students, and they will showcase their final work at a "Community Night" and present to their families and people from our community.
Feel free to use this resource at your school site and modify to suit your student's needs. This curriculum is intended for Advanced Learners but all students are capable of completing the project with enough support and guidance. This Curriculum is also suitable for Grade 6-12.
(Click the image above to download the Free PDF)
Developed by Dr. Caldwell 2018-2019
Below are screen shots of some of the Booklets Pages (All activities are included in the Free resource above)
This would be great for 7th Grade Medieval World History when you examine South East Asia and the Middle East.
When I start the unit on Islamic Civilizations I always try to deconstruct student's misconceptions and stereotypes about Islam. I have students fill out an anticipation guide (see below) and then give them placards that will inform of truth. This activity also teaches them how to cite information and evidence and write accurate claims. Use the free resources below to help your students gain a truthful and accurate insight about Islam.
Click Below for three free resources.
(Above: Just an image with essential questions) Below are the resources
(Above: Click Image for Anticipatory Guide)
(Above: Click the image above for Evidence Placards)
(Above: Worksheet for students to use with placards)
Hold a "Mock" Election at your school using google forms. My 8th Graders will be conducting research on some California Propositions, filling out a worksheet, and as a school "Voting" on a google form. After everyone has voted, we will tabulate the responses and let the school know what their overall decision was. Click below on the pictures to take you to editable versions of the assignments and form, feel free to modify to suit your classroom needs.
*I could not include the Google Form (because it doesn't let you made an editable copy)
Note: I used Ballotpedia.com for all of the information.
Extension: Have students find "Commercials" and have students compare claims the advertisements made and discuss the accuracy of said claims.
(Above: Google Slide Presentation for Students)
(Above: Worksheet for Students)
(Above: I Made a simple google form and will send out to students. There is no link for this picture).
Instead of using a "physical notebook" opt for a digital notebook. If you teach 7th Grade history, feel free to use this Digital Portfolio and modify for your class. I usually do one activity per day an an anticipatory set before I dive deeply into the topic. Click the images below for the free resources.
*If your school has access to technology, be it ipads or Chromebooks, I recommend making a digital notebook for your students. You can do it two ways:
1) Make assignments and tasks BEFORE you share out the questions and activities (this takes a lot of planning ahead, but once its done its awesome! (Then you will have it every year and you can just modify).
2) Make assignments one at a time, but students copy and paste in task (on a running google document). Therefore, with this option it gives you a lot of flexibility and can make more of a dynamic living document (It does take a couple minutes to copy and paste activities from a MASTER copy, that you have posted on google classroom or CANVAS).
Take a look at what can be included in a Digital Notebook...I will post more ideas and sample notebooks in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned! (Click the image to make a copy of the document) All resources are FREE!
Online Interactive Worksheet for students
Students need to practice investigating historical questions and learn about the strengths and weaknesses of online sources. This quick lesson with help them do both! This would be great for 8th grade history when you examine the early Colonies, but it can be used in ELA class as well.
Pose the question: what happens at Thanksgiving? Discuss. Pose the question: "Did the 'real' thanksgiving actually happen?"
Assign the document (via google classroom or Canvas or share out on google documents. Have students make a copy of assignment). Students click the links to various articles online and investigate the strengths and weaknesses of each source as well as evidence if it actually took place or not.
Extension: Assign the SHEG assessment on the first thanksgiving for an additional sourcing assessment. Play the video before to scaffold the assignment or after for your advanced classes (3 minutes long).
Click the image below to get a free copy of the assignment.
Everyone loves infographs. Instead of a detailed syllabus, opt for a infographic for your class. I created a simple syllabus for my students and posted it on my CANVAS course, so students can see it everyday. I used Piktochart and use the same graphic every year. Click the image below to see the full syllabus.
Piktochart is great to use for student activities too! Have students create a piktochart for any project, resume, presentation or posters! Easy to sign up and completely free. (Free Resource!) See the lesson below for Chinese Philosophies (Grade 6 or 7) example Piktochart!
I am passionate about history and am an education enthusiast.