In the ongoing battle between serious, fact-based interpretation of current events and the onslaught of “fake news” stories being spread throughout social media (and beyond), 21st century social studies teachers face a daunting task. How can we possibly help students develop the necessary skills in order navigate the confusing blizzard of information they encounter on a daily basis? Even still, who has enough hours in the day to both cover all the required content and engage in current events activities that encompass more than reading an article and answering a few questions?
As a veteran teacher believe me, I feel your pain. My colleague Joe Zlatnik and I have spent time the past few years talking with teachers throughout the country about how they address bias in their classrooms. The consensus we have heard is that most teachers don’t address it since they don’t have time to teach “current events.” With this in mind we developed a set of simple activities that can help kids practice the skill of detecting bias within the framework of US and World history courses. I will explain one of these activities in this first part of a three part series.
Continue reading Detecting Bias: Quick and Easy Lesson Applications for Practicing this Essential Skill (Part 1)
Pre-Service teachers are getting into the game and classroom teachers can benefit. The HGSS undergraduates at KU have a thriving student chapter of the National Council for the Social Studies – the Kansas University Council for the Social Studies (KUCSS) – and they’ve been using their powers for good.
KUCSS has partnered with the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence, Kansas to create instructional materials for middle and high school social studies teachers. The Dole Institute of Politics has launched an online exhibit commemorating Dole and his service in WWII which resulted in a debilitating injury that would later largely shape his work as a Senator resulting in the Americans with Disabilities Act (1995).
If you’d like to read more about the collection and their collaboration with KUCSS you can check out the full article here.
Make sure to check out the WWII Letter Collection from the Dole Institute and follow the In the Classroom link for the lesson plan.
And if you haven’t taken the opportunity to visit the Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence it’s well worth a trip. Heck, make an I-70 road trip of it: start at the Eisenhower Presidential Center in Abilene, hit the Dole Institute, and then on to Liberty, Missouri for the Truman Presidential Library and Museum – just imagine all the government fun!
The great thing about being a history teacher is that history can be literally all around us, especially on the Internet. There are all kinds of things that might be of use for teachers of history. I provide for you three “guilty pleasures” that you may wind up exploring for fun on your own time. Continue reading “Guilty Pleasures” of History Education
Blogs this time of the year are full of wonderful ideas for the first day of school. I would like to share with you a lesson that I do on the 3rd or 4th day of school after all procedural things are taken care of.
I start off by brainstorming with the kids – asking the question “What don’t you like about history?” We write their answers on a flip chart.
Then I show them this awesome YouTube video by jhayesteach. It highlights a small little speck of the amazingly cool things about history! Continue reading Why study history? A 3rd day of school lesson….
As I begin the transition from summer to fall semesters (I know it is way too soon!), I decided to think about how I can start my methods course. I have my own set of ‘willing’ lab rats at home and I cornered my sixth grader and asked the question in the title of this post. The reply was what I expected… Continue reading So I asked my eleven year old, “What is History?”