Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database

slavery databaseHaving students internalize historical events is a task I try to achieve in my high school Geography and World History classrooms almost every lesson. This is a difficult mission, but it does not prevent me from asking myself, “How can I make this topic personal for students?”

This is the same question I pondered when developing lessons about the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Yes, students arrive to me with prior knowledge about the subject, but their familiarity with the topic is only surface-deep. I have learned that investigating history from the bottom-up has made my students more attuned into the field of history.

Therefore, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database has made the grassroots of this theme come alive in my classroom. The immense about of information compiled in this database is astounding and truly makes my students appreciate the subject. There are maps that illustrate where the 12.5 million slaves were embarked and disembarked, but what catches my students’ interest the most is the “African Names Database”, which houses 91,491 names of Africans who were enslaved. Not only are their names provided, but also their age, height, sex, name of the ship they were transported on, and where they were embarked/disembarked.

By clicking on the “Voyage ID” for each African listed, you can even see more information about the ship, such as its tonnage and the name of the captain! This is a treasure-trove of information that makes the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade relevant to students.

The site even offers lesson-plans for teachers, who may want to know how to incorporate this information into the classroom effectively. The slave-trade may have ended over a century ago, but this database helps students realize the significance of this event.

Oodles of Constitution Day Resources

Franklin charms the ladies(Cross post from History Tech)

It’s that time of year again. Constitution Day 2014. September 17.

You know the story. A group of guys from different parts of the country with different ideas of how to govern got together and came up with a pretty amazing document. My favorite Founding Father?

Ben Franklin. He’s kind of like the sleeper pick in your fantasy football league – everyone knows he’s out there but they ignore him because all the focus is on Jefferson or Madison or one of the other first rounders. But you draft him anyway cause you know he’s got the skills.

Ben was smart, irreverent, great with people, well-read, the ladies loved him, he had that whole kite / electricity / scientist thing working, and was by far the best part of 1776 and John Adams. What’s not to love?

And so it’s fun to go back and read some of what Ben had to say about the document he was preparing to sign: Continue reading

100 map and visuals that jump-start discussion

It’s no secret. I love maps. I’m pretty sure maps love me. Big. Small. Old. New. digital divide

Treasure.

I love ‘em all.

And the cool thing about the InterWebs is that someone is always making new maps that I can fall in love with. Recently it’s been the Washington Post.

We’re all visual people and the brain loves to look at stuff. So all of the maps and charts listed below would work great as writing prompts, hook activities to introduce units and lessons, resources for research, basic geography skills, part of PBL projects, or to simply act as a sweet way to jump-start a current events discussion.

But I’m also sure that you’ll come up with all sorts of things that I haven’t thought about. (Don’t forget to use the links associated with each map to help your kids explore deeper.)

Here we go: Continue reading

Newspaper Map – handy geo-based newspaper search tool

As social studies teachers, we’re always looking for great current events resources. And what history teacher doesn’t love old newspapers as primary sources?

Several years ago, I ran across a site that does both. And translates stuff into English for you. And provides a very cool way to visual browse over 10,000 newspaper in map form. And has a mobile version for iPods, iPads and cell phones.

Called newspaper map, the relatively new webapp uses Google Maps to visually display newspapers from almost every country in the world. You can filter the map results by place, address, newspaper name and language. The further you zoom in, the more pins you see. The larger the pin, the larger the paper.

Continue reading

Edudemic, handy teacher guides, and how-tos

Okay. I’m a bit off task but does the lack of an apostrophe in “how-tos” bug anyone else? Pretty sure this is correct but it sure looks weird. Especially when my built-in spell checker is telling me it’s wrong.

Anyway . . . where were we?loc edudemic

Handy teacher guides and how-tos.

Edudemic is not a social studies site but it is a very sweet place to catch up on your tech integration knowledge. The tagline says it all: Continue reading