This article reviews Ken Burns' new documentary, which I look forward to watching one day. Every time something like comes out and I historians grumble, I can't help but reflect on my own popular history relationship and concluding that I don't really see anything wrong with it this way of getting history to the masses. I think it acts as a portal to something bigger. I trace my own love of history to reading and watching Band of Brothers as a 14 year old, and I think that that's what documentaries like Burns' Vietnam and bestselling authors like McCullough are doing. Because of this, I will always advocate using these resources in the classroom! They are a portal to a greater love for history, and can only grab kids' interest. I also like the idea of using a non-fiction or even a historical fiction book as a supplementary text in history class. Reading Killer Angels in high school history was a very memorable experience for me.
Yes, its a musician's blog, but Sufjan has some wonderful things to say about the world, the state it's in, and the humanity that comes of it. He's also on a bit of an Oregon kick right now, so you can find something in there that you know! In a classroom, this is a useful example of something kids could do as a reflective project on a specific unit, maybe the civil war, or something that could use some extra thought. Allowing students to be creative is often a good way to boost interest.
These are my two favorite Brits, and this site chronicles, through weekly TV spots and podcasts, their love for the beautiful game, all things United States, and savory pies. If you do nothing else, sign up for their weekly newsletter, The Raven, and enjoy.
What a lovely story this is, and of particular interest to us as it's set on the Zigzag river on Mt. Hood. It's would be a wonderful read for students in middle school, and deals quite beautifully with growing up themes. Be warned; it's got a healthy dose of mysticalness! This novel would make an excellent accompaniment to a human geography unit, as it deals with certain demographics and a stagnant population.
It seems that we in the PNW know more about Lewis and Clark, and John Muir, and Henry David Thoreau than we do about a guy who was perhaps more important in our natural history studies world than any of them and most others; David Douglas. This is a wonderful book that traces his life and history and interest in our region, and using excerpts from it would be a great way to supplement a history of the PNW or class, or even a natural history unit.
Why not spend some time reading bad history jokes? I think that using these is often a great way to grab kids' attention when diving into a new topic or section. Using them at the end of a weekly email about the week ahead in class is also a good option. Understanding a lot of these jokes and memes really does require historical knowledge and understanding, so we're not compromising on educational content here.
The APUSH class that I'm student teaching in is set up to allow the students a little grace as far as their homework is concerned. They're assigned weekly chapters in a text, and get a grade for the notes they take. The chapter notes can take 4 or 5 hours per chapter, so we offer completed "video notes" as an automatic B. It ensures that they engage with the content while allowing that they don't spend too much time on it. Kids who utilize it are always happy they did.
This site has thus far been invaluable. I'm getting the idea that teachers refer students to it often, and seek its guidance themselves. Gilder Lehrman breaks down the nine periods studied in APUSH with introductory videos and a whole lot of other things. For anyone looking to brush up on their US history or any student looking to pass the AP test...this site's for you.
A podcast on Harry Potter from a feminist, Canadian perspective. I don't know what else to say. They're as great as they sound.
A late summer article that I presume will be relevant for as long as we're a country and a nation. It's interesting, considering these debates over memorialization that hold our country's attention, and interesting to consider how the debate changes in reference to what region we live in.
What has become one of my favorite news/history podcasts over the years. If you're not listening closely, you may miss the fact that their British silliness is just real news, disguised. I really enjoy these people and their weekly take on what's important. This blog could easily be used in a classroom as a comparison between news that's read and important in different regions of the world.
Just making sure that everyone gets an example of a public forum site that works. And making sure you're up on your Rip City news, considering the start of the season is upon us.
I'm a tech convert on this one! This app makes grading multiple choice quizzes or tests rather easier than normal. I graded 125 tests, each one 55 questions, in about 10 minutes. You just use their blank answer sheet, input correct scores, and hover your camera over their answer sheet...anyway, it worked. Make your school pay for it like my CT does.
I found this excellent social migration blog while searching for comparisons between Irish and German immigrants in the 19th century. It has really helpful visuals, many of which connect immigration patters from centuries ago to now. This resource could be useful in a variety of classrooms: geography, politics, government, economics, and history.
Historian Amy Sturgis gives an excellent explanation of the Trail of Tears, letting us know in the title that it was wrong and that they knew it. It's good to clear up some moments in history that we should all know but sometimes don't! Also, Andrew Jackson's portrait is currently hanging in the oval office...nice...
An excellent and extensive resource for teaching multiple periods and perspectives of African Colonization. It links to other resources and pages from Africana Age, all of which include great historical photography.
In one of my favorite articles ever, Neil Gaiman explains the importance of books and libraries and reading, especially among young people today. As educators, this is something we all need to think about regardless of what subject we teach in the classroom, and I haven't found anyone better at convincing me of this than Gaiman.
With Puerto Rico in the news today, we owe it to ourselves and Puerto Ricans to have a fuller understanding of our relationship and our history. This article provides an excellent, readable, background to that relationship and where the future of Puerto Rico may lie.
I don't know where our AP US History class would be without SHEG. All educators should sign up (for free!). The lessons on the historical questioning are particularly well done, providing great primary sources for developing arguments.
I acknowledge the necessity of care when talking about war heroes. Trying to keep that in mind, Band of Brothers was the starting point for my love of history, and every time I hear that a member of Easy Company dies I like to reflect a little on it. Sad to hear about Donald Malarkey, native Oregonian, passing away. But what a story to celebrate!