Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark and save this site to use in a variety of ways. Share maps with students that show information for different periods of time during the 19th Century. Because this site includes various types of maps, use these resources to provide a wider context of the time period. For example, choose the time from 1860-1870 to take a look at the Civil War era. Have students use the information found in the maps to research and understand population patterns in the United States, explore the slave population's distribution, and understand the geographic locations of the south's cotton regions. Help students understand the different content using Padlet, reviewed here, to organize and share information. Create columns within the Padlet to share maps, articles, and primary sources separated by content such as geography, weather, political information, or other important categories. Ask students to share their understanding using one of the many digital tools found at Adobe Spark in K-12, reviewed here. Have a group create videos that include downloadable maps found at this site to tell the story of the Civil War through a geographic lens, ask another group to create a web page sharing information from a journalist's point of view, and have others create social media graphics featuring headlines of the day appealing to different areas of the country.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomBecause this site offers weekly downloads, it is a great addition to use in any social studies classroom for civics lessons or providing ongoing civics discussions throughout the school year. Engage students by creating groups to explore concepts even further throughout the year. For example, divide your class into four or five groups, then have each group rotate throughout the month to take the information from a weekly update and conduct further research. Use Padlet, reviewed here, to curate and share each of the activities for students to revisit and review the content. Take advantage of tools such as Google Slides,reviewed here, to focus student groups on learning activities. Create a slide template that includes students' areas to answer questions, reflect upon finding, and share resources used. Extend learning using podcasts as a final project for students to discuss and share their researched topic. Buzzsprout, reviewed here, is an excellent option for podcasting in the classroom because of the free features that include adding links and lists to podcasts and the ability to schedule podcasts release for your chosen date and time. Want to learn more about using podcasts in education? Watch the archive of the July 2018 OK2Ask professional learning session, Engage & Inspire: Podcasting in the Classroom, reviewed here.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude information from this site as part of lessons on women's rights and slavery. Create an online course using Eduflow, reviewed here, to guide students through their exploration of the work of Sojourner Truth. Include additional information for students to use for comparison, guide students through their comparison of the two texts, and add videos for students to view. Eduflow offers tools for in-app recordings to use for student discussions. Use edPuzzle, reviewed here, to add comments and questions into the videos to guide student thinking and focus on important areas within the speeches. Challenge students to explore and research other examples of revisions to history and share their findings through a multimedia presentation. Examples of presentation tools include Adobe Spark in K-12, reviewed here and Emaze, reviewed here.
Grades10 to 12
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In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free resources found on Fiveable to guide instruction in your AP classes and to share with students to prepare for AP Exams. Include a link to weekly study plans on your class website to share with students. Encourage students to use online study tools to enhance learning. For example, use Knowt, reviewed here, to create quizzes from your documents and assess learning. Keep students motivated by designing Escape Room activities using Room Escape Maker, reviewed here. Use critical information required to pass the AP exam as questions to solve the puzzle to escape the room successfully. Enhance learning by having tech-savvy students create escape rooms for their peers to use as a study activity.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomDiscover the many free resources found on this site to include with your teaching units. If you find that some of the reading material is useful, but is above the reading level of your students, use a summarizing tool such as SummarizeThis reviewed here, to break down large portions of text into manageable content. Include activities from this site as part of a larger unit using a learning management system such as Crio, reviewed here. Use Crio to build an interactive learning experience that includes videos, reading activities, quizzes, and images. Extend student learning by asking them to become the creators through sharing their knowledge with others. Provide options for students to create audio podcasts with Synth, reviewed here, make explainer videos using Adobe Spark Video Creator, reviewed here, or use Google My Maps, reviewed here, to take viewers on a virtual journey through map locations.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomAs an introduction to the lesson, one of the activities is to ask students to brainstorm a list of teens' news resources and a list of news resources used by parents or older people. Use Microsoft Whiteboard, reviewed here, or Google Jamboard, reviewed here, to create and analyze your lists. Use the whiteboard tools to create lists, Venn Diagrams, and add notes to extend student reflections on different news sources. Turn the Know-Heard-Learned Chart included in the lesson into an editable worksheet to use as a collaborative document to record student understanding of any events' timeline. Learn how at this archived recording of an OK2Ask professional learning session.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark and save this document as a guide to discussing racism in the classroom and as a link to many additional materials. Organize your resources using a curation tool such as Padlet, reviewed here. Use the shelf option in Padlet to create columns to organize information. For example, create columns to sort materials by grade levels or by type of content. As you teach lessons, use a mind mapping tool like Coggle, reviewed here to organize and share complex information. Extend learning using Biteable, reviewed here to create student-produced explainer videos sharing their ideas on addressing racism, media literacy strategies, or steps to help others through difficult times.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomAs you explore the interactive timeline together as a class or with small groups, use a simple polling tool like SurveyPlanet, reviewed here, to assess student understanding of the different events on the timeline. Use SurveyPlanet to add each event to a poll and ask students to weigh in on their opinion on if the event was an accomplishment or a setback to the Obama administration. Use an online curation tool such as Padlet, reviewed here, to organize and share additional resources with students to enhance learning. For example, create a Padlet with columns for each year of the Obama presidency and add online articles from different resources that discuss each event. Extend learning by asking students to apply their knowledge of the Obama presidency and compare it to another president's term in office using one of the storytelling tools found at Knight Lab, reviewed here. Options include an image comparison tool, Storyline to tell the stories behind numbers, StoryMap - maps that tell numbers, and a timeline creation tool.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark this site for use with any current events lessons and as a resource for finding fact-based information to use to help understand modern history. Most of the discussion questions ask students to defend a point of view based on the shared topic. Use technology tools to help students organize their thinking and share their questions and responses. Engage students in the learning process using Fiskkit, reviewed here, as a collaborative discussion tool for sharing online articles related to the topic discussed. Fiskkit offers tools for annotating and collaboratively discussing online information. Share student opinions and discussions using FlipGrid, reviewed here. Ask students to respond to the discussion question within Flipgrid using their fact-based research. Use the comment feature to encourage collaboration and student discussion. As a final project, extend learning by asking students (or student groups) to share their responses as part of a multimedia presentation that includes student writing, videos, maps, and infographics. Have students use a presentation tool such as Sway, reviewed here, or Adobe Spark in K-12, reviewed here, to share their final projects.
Grades10 to 12
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In the ClassroomUse Alison to find professional learning courses, learn the basics of a new language, or for personal development. Share Alison with students to learn skills not offered in school or share with ESL/ELL students to use when learning English. Use Alison with student cohorts interested in learning about a new topic or preparing for college-level courses.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomIncorporate this free unit as a guide to teaching the sensitive topics of race and justice with or without using the novel. As you begin your unit, use AnswerGarden, reviewed here, as an anonymous brainstorming and response tool. Use AnswerGarden by forming open-ended questions such as "The hard part of talking about racism is..." or "The beneficial part of talking about racism is..." as a way to elicit student ideas without students being concerned about sharing ideas orally with their peers. Use AnswerGarden in various ways throughout the unit to gauge student ideas and responses to lesson topics. All of the lessons include essential questions and big ideas, use FlipGrid, reviewed here, as a collaborative tool to encourage student conversations through Flipgrid's video response options. Extend learning using podcasts as a format for students to share their learning about race and our justice system. For example, Buzzsprout, reviewed here, is a podcasting tool to create weekly podcasts created by students to discuss different components of race relations and the justice system. Another option to consider using is Synth, reviewed here, to create bite-sized audio podcasts discussing each lesson's issues. Use Synth to record short audio recordings of up to 256 seconds that thread together to form a podcast.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the immensely popular musical, Hamilton, to engage students as they learn about early American History. Include activities found on this site, along with your other resources, on a bookmarking tool such as Symbaloo, reviewed here, for younger students try Padlet, reviewed here. Ask students to share their learning by creating infographics using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here. Examples might include an infographic of Hamilton's life, comparisons between Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, and Hamilton's influence on creating the two-party system in the United States. Extend learning by providing students options for sharing their perspectives on early American History. Have students who love drama and music use the play as inspiration to write and produce their own short play. Ask another group of students to create an interactive timeline of events using one of the timeline creation tools located here. For students who enjoy computer programming and games, encourage them to use Scratch, reviewed here, to design a game using information from their research and learning activities.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomIncorporate the free resources found on the site to teach immigration and migration accurately and inclusively. Many of the activities connect to items found at the Smithsonian Learning Lab, reviewed here, that features digital resources from the Smithsonian Museum, the National Zoo, and several other major research centers. Include these lessons in US History, government, or current events lessons. As students gather information during the provided activities, use a collaborative bookmarking tool like SearchTeam, reviewed here. SearchTeam provides real-time collaboration for teams along with the ability to add notes to share with peers. Engage students in the learning process by creating and sharing infographics using Canva Infographic Creator, reviewed here. Ask student teams to create infographics sharing different portions of the information within a lesson. For example, when using the education resources, have a student group create infographics depicting facts about the fight for desegregation, another share facts about busing, and another with re-segregation factions and images.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBe sure to see the many free lessons and activities shared on this site for use as a complete civics and election unit or as a supplement to your current curriculum. For polling activities, consider the use of online polling tools such as Dotstorming, reviewed here, or Poll Everywhere, reviewed here, as quick polling options. Select activities from the site to use with other learning tools such as videos, online articles, and documents to create a blended learning activity using ActivelyLearn, reviewed here. Have students create campaign posters and flyers using PhotoCollage, reviewed here, or Canva Edu, reviewed here, using the templates provided or created from scratch. Engage students in the electoral experience by providing options for them to promote a personal platform or a fictionalized candidate using Adobe Spark in K-12, reviewed here. Adobe Spark allows inclusion of student-created videos and artwork along with student persuasive writing examples.
Grades3 to 6
In the ClassroomUse the lessons from this site as an entire civics unit or integrate the materials into your current civics program. Although created for fourth grade, the materials are easily adaptable for students in other grades. As students learn about civics through problem-solving activities, incorporate online tools found at Class Tools, reviewed here, to enhance learning. For example, have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a fake Fakebook profile of a historical character. Extend learning further by asking students to create and produce podcasts using Buzzsprout, reviewed here. Include topics found on the We the Civics Kids website such as diversity, school uniform discussions, and kid power.
Grades1 to 12
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