Category Archives: photos

Then and now Google Images, writing prompts, HistoryPin, and other cool stuff

fremont market

Several months ago, I was in beautiful Fremont, Washington, a community north of downtown Seattle. My son had just graduated from Seattle Pacific and we had the opportunity to spend a few days exploring the metro area. We had already done all of the typical Seattle touristy things – Pike’s Market, Space Needle, theicky wall of chewing gum.

While looking for lesser known attractions, Jake suggested Fremont. Every Sunday, Fremont hosts ahuge flea market / delicious food truck / arts and crafts extravaganza that attracts thousands. I went for the food and stayed for the old books and super cool old maps.

While browsing through one particular booth looking for artistic inspiration, my daughter ran across a box full of old photographs. No names. No dates. So we practiced our primary document sourcing skills, deducing that they must have been taken in the late 1940s / early 1950s by American soldiers and their families. Scenes of the Eiffel Tower, festivals complete with lederhosen, and celebrations with uniformed Americans were prominent.

Erin selected a pile of the most interesting images – picking quite a few that seemed to be from the same camera roll and photographer.

Okay. Your daughter found some old photos. And . . . so what?

It took me a while to figure out the so what. The so what started to develop when Continue reading Then and now Google Images, writing prompts, HistoryPin, and other cool stuff

Interactive maps compare current cities to 19th century versions

dc-spyglass-viewI love the Smithsonian magazine. Both the print and online versions. The articles are incredibly cool and range all over the place, from why we incorrectly believe that carrots help us see better to what people snacked on during the 1963 March on Washington.

During a recent run through their online history articles, I ran across a very cool interactive activity that lets you look at past and present maps of six major US cities. The magazine recently dipped into David Rumsey‘s collection of over 150,000 maps to find some of the best representations of American cities over the past couple hundred years. With some simple programming, they were able to overlay images of vintage maps of some major cities onto satellite images from today. Continue reading Interactive maps compare current cities to 19th century versions

5 Random Things from the Web…

First off, NCSS is next week.  I’m stoked looking forward to traveling to St. Louis for four days of interesting social studies exploration.  I will be doing a blog post Friday evening or Saturday morning of some of the things I’m experiencing at the conference.  I hope to have some great stuff for you.  Now onto today’s post.

Sometimes when I get brain fatigue, I wind up falling into Internet surfing and finding things that pique the historical part of my brain and at least get me back into the mood to do some thinking.  As I prepared to write this blog post, it was at the end of a twelve-hour day, and I am suffering from brain fatigue, and over-caffeinated, and ready to “veg” out.  This leads me to the post I struggled to get onto today. Continue reading 5 Random Things from the Web…

How I use “Discrepant Event Inquiry” in my classroom

A few years ago, I was introduced to “Discrepant Event Inquiry” from Glenn Wiebe. (Here is another post about it from his History Tech blog). The idea is that you take an image and only reveal a little bit at a time. As I reveal a little bit of the picture, the students must guess Who is in the picture, What is happening, When was the photograph taken, and Where is this taking place. This encourages students to think outside the box and it also does WONDERS with questioning and how to ask the right questions. Naturally, I turned this into a competition. Continue reading How I use “Discrepant Event Inquiry” in my classroom

Graphic notes, primary sources, and literacy skills

bloody-sunday-2It seems like every social studies teacher I talk to asks about reading and writing strategies. Everyone is freaking about Common Core ELA literacy skills for history / government. And I suppose that’s a good thing. Good social studies instruction should always include reading and writing activities.

But I believe that we sometimes over-think the whole process. Give kids engaging questions, provide some interesting evidence, and step out of the way. An easy way to focus on document analysis and support writing skills is something I call Graphic Notes. I posted this on History Tech several weeks ago but I like it so much, I decided to post here as well!)

A Graphic Note is a lot like a Thought Bubble but takes it a bit further. So you can use it as a hook activity or even as a type of assessment.

1. Start by  Continue reading Graphic notes, primary sources, and literacy skills