myHistro: A Great Teaching Timeline Tool

Tallinn, view

Tallinn, view (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the great things that I have enjoyed about blogging is communicating with people all over the world. Recently, I had a message from a reader  Valeria from Tallinn, Estonia who brought to my attention a great website called myHistro. This is a great site that combines maps, timelines, images, video and puts it all together in a presentation format. This is a great tool to teach students about a sequence of events like battles and other historical events.  Click the link below for an example of a basic myHistro presentation on the battles of the Civil War.

Click here to see a good basic example of a myHistro presentation.

This is a great tool to be used in the classroom. Check it out at www.myHistro.com and thanks again to Valeria for bringing it to my attention.

Click here to read about other great timeline tools.

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Spark Student Interest with Time Search

Spark Student Interest with Time Search

Time Search is a great resource that I came across near the end of this past school year. It is a great research tool to assist students looking for information about many different topics in a history course. The timeline approach is one students always seem to appreciate and often captivates their attention. The way that the information is displayed and linked together seemed to really interest students. I found my students often discovered topics that intrigued them and really seemed to captivate their attention. Many of the students who used this began asking me questions about a variety of history topics that we were not covering in class. This lead to a few of my students research and studying different events in history in addition to the topics covered in class. Anytime I find a resource that has this effect on students it is one I bookmark and use in future classes. If you teach history you need to have a look at this site along with their parent site History World. Check them out with the links below.

Click here to check out Time Search.

Click her to check out History World.

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Visual Search Engine: instaGrok

Over the course of the the last few days my students have begun to use instaGrok as a search engine in class. This site conducts searches in a very visual way that invokes students to explore and learn. Often times I see them digging deeper into a search due to the visual nature of the the search engine. The visual nature also seems to spark  the curiosity in students to explore and look deeper into a topic. Another great thing about this search engine is the layout which provides students immediately with key facts, videos, images and other resources. Saving students time in looking for these resources next which they often need to do for many assignments. I was very happy with how engaged my students were and how they seemed to really like to use this search engine.

Check it out for yourself at: http://www.instagrok.com/

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Scholastic: Interactive Whiteboard Activities

Like every teacher I am always excited to find good resources. Over the past week I came across a great resource site for interactive whiteboards. This site contains many resources for Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Math, and others. The activities and media shared on this site are high quality and cover many different areas of study within each subject area. Many of these activities would be a great supplement to any teachers curriculum.

Check out this great resource at: http://teacher.scholastic.com/whiteboards/languagearts.htm

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Locating Primary Resources for Students

Over the past week my students began our states Classroom Based Assessment known as a CBA for the state of Washington called Digging Deep. This project requires them to do the following:

1. Develop a historical question.

2. State a position on the historical question.

3. Provide reason(s) for your position that include:

  • An explanation of how two or more primary sources support your position.
  • Additional evidence from one or more of the following social science perspectives:
    • geographic
    • cultural
    • political
    • economic
    • sociological
    • psychological.

4. Make explicit references within the paper or presentation to three or more credible sources that provide relevant information AND cite sources within the paper, presentation, or bibliography.

One of the biggest stumbling points for my students was locating resource that they could use to find primary sources to support their position. So as the students worked I began collecting resources that they found to be useful in locating primary sources. This is not an exhaustive list by any means but was one that allowed my students to find the needed information on many different topics. As always if you know of a great resource that I have not mentioned please drop me a line and let me know so I can add it to the list.

Searchable Primary Sources Sites

These sites can be used to search for primary sources on American History.

  1. Yale University-Three ways to search for Primary Source Documents at Yale University.
  2. Library of Congress collections and searchable database.
  3. New Deal Network collection list and a searchable database.
  4. Northern Nevada Primary Source Catalogue Search.
  5. Smithsonian Institute search for primary source documents.

Primary Source Site Lists

These links provide you with many resources to locating primary sources on a variety of topics.

  1. Here is another great Primary List Resource for the Library of Congress thanks to Julie
  2. Primary Source Sets – Each set collects primary sources on a specific topic, all as easy-to-use PDFs, with historical background information and teaching ideas.
  3. Primary Sources by State – Selected primary sources for each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories.
  4. Browse by Topic in the Library of Congress- Easy browsing for primary sources across all the digital collections of the Library of Congress.
  5. Web Guides – List of primary documents arranged by topic.
  6. From Revolution to Reconstruction: http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/usa.htm
  7. The University of Oklahoma Law Center: A Chronology of US Historical DocumentsThis site offers a great set of historical documents from pre-colonial days to the present. http://www.law.ou.edu/hist/
  8. Repositories of Primary Sources great list of primary sources.
    1763-1815: Primary Sources: The American Revolution and the New Nation
  9. 1815-1860: Primary Sources: National Expansion and Reform
  10. 1860-1877: Primary Sources: Civil War and Reconstruction
  11. Primary Source Documents: A very extensive list of Primary Resource websites. Treasury of Primary Resources pertaining to early American History.
  12. Top 100 links for Primary sources
  13. American History Primary documents categorized list of documents by era in American History.
  14. Historical Scene investigators 13 topics and primary resources on each topic.
  15. The Valley of the Shadow searchable database for the Civil War.

 Other Primary Source Helpful sites

  1. Historical Scene investigators 13 topics and primary resources on each topic.
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14 Ways For Students To Create Timelines

CSI timeline

Image via Wikipedia

Timelines are a great way to teach history. Students in my classes often use them to create projects on a given time period or event with great success. I have found that for all students putting events in order helps them to understand the overall development of a particular event like WWI, WWII, and to understand the development of an historical era like the Cold War. It also allows them to see how historical events are related and points out the cause and effect relationship between historical events. Below is a list of 14 great website that will allow students to create excellent interactive timelines.

  1. xtimeline – Explore and Create Free Timelines

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Teach Geography with GEOGAMES

Last week I tried out GeoGames with my Middle School Students and they loved it. Geogames is a great little website that teaches students world geography. Students are timed as they put continents and countries on a world map.  This game has three levels and students can mark their improvement by reducing their time within the game.

As the game states on their website: “The game focuses on cognitive concepts such as spatial relationships (where the continents are in relation to each other and to the oceans), nesting (how a city is a unit within a country, a country is a unit within a continent, & etc.), and how countries, continents and oceans have vastly different sizes (scale).”

Check is out at the following address: http://reachtheworld.org/geogames/index.html

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