Click the image below for the lesson plan and students activities.
I love teaching about the Columbian Exchange. Students are fascinated about how different foods, animals and diseases developed differently in the "Old" and "New World." In this lesson student examine the IMPACT of the Columbian Exchange on the "New" and "Old World" by examining secondary sources. Students will then practice searching for credible sources online that would explain the IMPACT of exchanging animals, diseases, plants and technology. My favorite part is when students find a recipe (I challenge them to ask a Grandparent or relative for a family recipe- I have kids calling their abuelitas in Mexico who they haven't talked to in ages!) and then they create a "Cooking Show" or "Cookbook" that shows other students how to make the recipe with historical details about that particular food time (Example: The potato comes from the "New World" and there are thousands of varieties of potatoes). Sometimes students will even bring a sample for other students to try (I got the Principal permission first!).
Click the image below for the lesson plan and students activities.
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.
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).
Suitable for All Grade Levels
When I taught 7th Grade Medieval world history, I taught feudalism using gummy bears. Feudalism is just one economic system in history so I wanted to compare and contrast it to other economic systems, so students could fully grasp the complexity and nuance of feudalism (and how restrictive it was and how it impacted societal structures).
I had students read a few chapters from Dr. Eric Nilsson;s book on economic systems. I found this free reading by googling: Nilsson, Eric “ Different Economic Systems” (it will pop up as a pdf from CSULB's economic dept). Its a challenging reading, but completely manageable if read together in class or broken apart. Or you can have students research different economic systems andtake notes.
Use the presentation to introduce and explain gummy bear project (Note: I also did this for political systems).
*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.
I just received my batch of 300 custom buttons from Cheapestbuttonsnet. I give these students as rewards, or when we play history quiz games or when I see a student do something nice. My students are obsessed and they try to earn all 12! They are very affordable, and while its hard to spend extra money so often on school supplies, I believe they are worth it. You can upload any image you want and the company fits them to size. Easy!
Note: This is NOT a sponsored post. I just love them!
We have begun the year and before we examine the 13 colonies, I always review European Colonization of the Americas (to remind them there were millions of people already in the Americas...before Columbus!). Colonization is a deeply controversial subject with many different viewpoints, and that is why it is so important to teach. Here is what I do with my GATE identified students to encourage deep understanding.
After reviewing English, French and Spanish Colonization I pass out one of the slips below to each student (there are 6 different cards). Students write what they know, what they have read and what they have researched on the cards using the guided questions (I usually assign as HW). When they arrive to the class with research completed, they get into groups (All "ethics" in one group, all "Impact" in one group). They discuss their findings and create a giant poster, adding the most enlightened information they found (Drawings and diagrams are encouraged). After creating their poster, they can present to the class or allow for a "silent gallery walk."
Click the image below for the free worksheets.
Make History Relevant Using Current Events
Trying to make historical content relevant for teenagers is our constant challenge as history teachers. Using current events may help with this challenge. The goal is by showing students how history influences our world today may make them see the importance of learning history. Use this free worksheet (click image to download a pdf version) for students along side a current event article. I recommend using NEWSELA for news articles (Be mindful that Newsela now has a lot of content that are not news articles, rather summary readings).
Added: If you are looking for a GATE alternative suitable for all grade levels look at the image below and click the image to download a free pdf worksheet (Note: I have students write their answers on lined paper)
Suitable for grades 6-8
GATE Current Event Analysis
I am passionate about history and am an education enthusiast.