Opening the Window to the Past: Evaluating Sources and Using Evidence in Social Studies Classrooms

December 5, 2019 By Karla Wienhold

As teachers, we all want a way to make history a fun and engaging subject for our students.  We want them to grasp the historical events that we teach about with the same passion that we have when we are planning the lessons.  As educators, we want them to hear all the amazing stories from the past that will help them understand their role in the world they live in today. 

4 Steps to Integrating a Geographic Lens in World History

November 19, 2019 By Dr. Aaron Willis

Many students have trouble understanding the geographic context of United States history even though they can often relate the themes to their lives. When teachers move to world geography, the problem of relating to the content is compounded many times over. Students rarely have the background knowledge or geographic literacy to understand where things happened in the past. Thus, making the connection between distant places and history to modern society and their own lives can be very difficult.

Globalization Isn’t a New Thing: Teaching the Concept with Historical Examples

November 16, 2019 By Cynthia Resor

While globalization has been a relevant topic for years now, it's not actually a new concept!  Globalization occurred in the ancient, medieval, early modern, and industrial ages. Providing students with a solid understanding of modern globalization in comparison to historical examples makes the past relevant and clarifies current events.

Applying Learned Concepts: Fostering Inquiry in History, Geography, Economics, and Civics

November 7, 2019 By Karla Wienhold

Think back to a moment when you as a student sat in a social studies class and struggled to spit out a memorized date of an important event your teacher said would be integral to remember. Were those moments as dreadful for you as they were for me?

Cemeteries: Primary Sources for Much More Than Famous Dead Guys

October 30, 2019 By Cynthia Resor

Cemeteries are trendy destinations. Cemetery tours feature the rich, the famous, the macabre, and ghosts. However, cemeteries can teach students about primary source artifacts and several other important social studies themes.

The Importance of Practice in Educational Professional Development

October 28, 2019 By Pam Gothart

Adult Learning Theory understands that adults have their own, unique way of learning.  In childhood and adolescence, self-concept is still developing, but for adults who learn in the workplace or at professional development seminars, they are more independent and learn best when they draw on experience.  Seeing a direct connection between what they are learning and their day-to-day activities tends to help adults learn as well.

Teach Students Media Literacy with Historical Sources

October 24, 2019 By Cynthia Resor

Internet ads, YouTube videos, social media posts, blogs, emails, and TV infomercials feature questionable and downright dangerous health advice, treatments, and cures. These quacks didn’t just appear in the modern era of broadcast and electronic media. Quacks have been around for centuries, successfully adapting their misleading message to the newest form of media – from word of mouth, to print, to broadcast, to electronic formats.

Symbol Scavenger Hunt: Hands-on Activities for Interpreting Political Cartoons

October 11, 2019 By Cynthia Resor

Interpreting political cartoons can be a real challenge for many students in the classroom. Students struggle to recognize the people, symbols, and events without context, making deducing the message of the cartoonist nearly impossible. Create a political cartoon scavenger hunt activity to help your students identify who and what is depicted. With this basic knowledge, interpreting the larger message conveyed by the cartoonist becomes easier.

Compelling Essential Questions:  Connecting the Dots for Our Students

October 9, 2019 By Karla Wienhold

Think back to when you were a young child, trying to connect the numbered or letter dots to figure out what the mystery image would be.  You would carefully plot where the next line would go so the picture would come out just right.  Using essential questions is very much like that dot puzzle, trying to figure out what the major piece of the mystery concept is.  As teachers, our job is to help develop questioning skills in our students so they can successfully uncover the hidden picture, to help them develop the skills of inquiry to fit all the pieces of the lesson together. 

An Easy Guide for Teachers to Start Connecting With Their Students

September 30, 2019 By Dennis Fowler

How often do you step away from your social studies curriculum to get to know your students? Once a week? Once a month? Do you ever make specific plans or set aside specific time in your lessons to build meaningful, appropriate relationships with your kids?