Start class off right with a historic intro activity!

As a history teacher I am always looking for ways to grab students attention and interest in history. One of the ways that I have found particularly helpful are introduction activities that bring to light topics and events that students do not always hear about. The following list of websites not only bring history to life by pointing out what happened on this day in history. It also exposes students to a variety of different types of events and historic information. This variety seems to grab almost every students at one time or another during the year. I simply start of the class by reading through one of the events or a couple of events from one of the websites. Then I have a quick discussion or question and answer session and move on to the lesson for the day. At this point I often have their attention and they have settled down for class.  This type of introduction activity is so powerful I often have students come back years later and bring up topics they learned through these various websites.

This day in History

This site is probably the best of the bunch they have great videos that you can play right as the class bell rings. They are interesting and can hold students attention for the 1-3 minutes in length.

 

 

BBC “On This Day”

For a another site check out the BBC’s “On This Day”. Here you are able to focus on one topic with a more information to have discussion or class activity.

For an American History focus only try the Library of Congress’s Today in History Archive. Here you can search by day and find some great American History introduction topics to discuss.

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Historic Witness Podcasts

I was reading one of my favorite blogs yesterday, Free Technology For Teachers, and came across a great resource post called BBC Witness Podcasts.  BBC Witness Podcasts provides first hand accounts of historical events.  This would be an excellent way to bring history to life for your students.  After listening to a few of these accounts I began to think of many ways to incorporate these historic podcasts into the classroom. They are engaging and provide insight and information about hisotoric events in a new light.

As they state on their website: “Witness – history as told by the people who were there. Five days a week we will be talking to people who lived through moments of history to bring you a personal perspective on world events.”

Check this site out at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/witness

If you have not read Free Technology for Teachers blog I highly recommend you bookmark that site check it out at: http://www.freetech4teachers.com/

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