/r/historyteachers

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World, U.S., Social Studies, Geography..., all the subjects where so many don't understand why they need to learn them.

Share your cool class projects, interesting internet sources, funny memes involving teaching, whatever the community will let you get away with.

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/r/historyteachers

15,073 Subscribers

3

Suggestions for a small, quiet, low energy, early morning Civics class?

I've been teaching for 10 years, but this is only my third semester teaching US Government and Politics. My first time, I had no idea what I was doing so, admittedly, it was less than awesome. Last semester though, I really leaned into simulations and discussions. I had a great group that got really into it and it was honestly one of my favorite classes I ever taught.

This semester though, it's a first hour class with 15 students. 3 of them have never shown up once, another 3 come in about halfway through the hour, and of the 9 I have regularly, only one or two of them will say "hi" to me, let alone answer a question, and another 1 or 2 seem to actively loathe me for not letting them just talk through entire lessons and tests.

They aren't bad kids, but they're shy and quiet, almost none of them seem to know one another, and it's 7:45 in the morning. They aren't stoked to be there and honestly, I get it.

I just don't think I'm going to get this group to the same place I got my last semester, and that's cool. I think they want more "take the notes, do the work, take the quiz" and I can do that, but it just seems like it's going to get super boring if that's all there is to the next 17 weeks of school.

Any thoughts on how to run a class that's at least kind of fun and interesting, with a super low energy/low participation class?

2 Comments
2024/02/10
22:20 UTC

10

Need good world history maps

Does anyone have a good source or sources for world history maps starting with pre-history and going to about 1700’s C.E.? Free digital versions are preferred. Looking for maps that all share a style like something you might find in a textbook.

10 Comments
2024/02/10
18:51 UTC

8

Annotation/Analysis Strategies

What are your favorite annotation and analysis strategies?

I recently saw a teacher using InSPECT for geography/world cultures whereas I use GRAPES. I also like using SOAPStone or SCOAPS for primary source analysis. I tried HIPPOS and my students weren’t getting it lol

For annotations, I like doing a minimum of three things:

  • box and define unknown words
  • summarize each paragraph into a sentence
  • highlight an impactful or questionable sentence in the passage
2 Comments
2024/02/10
18:07 UTC

5

Looking for this timeline U.S History wall decoration circa around 2005.

I didn't know where to ask this. I assume someone here was teaching around 2005. I was thinking back to my love of history and in 5th grade it's when it all started. There was this poster that stretched from one end of the room to the other. It detailed U.S history timeline. I think specifically the American Revolution. If anyone knows anything cool, if not it's fine.

It had art of the event, the date and the name of the event.

0 Comments
2024/02/09
20:53 UTC

58

Direct Instruction Strategies that actually work you.

I teach US and World History. In my teaching credential program, the instructors heavily pushed inquiry-based learning and group work over direct instruction. But I find that it usually does not work in my classes which has many students reading and writing below grade level, ELLs and IEPs who don't do well with transitions. Usually I am not able to get through most of what I have planned. Everytime I assign group work, very few students even attempt to get work done and they copy from each other defeating the purpose. I am at a Middle School and many students use this time to walk around, goof off, yell at each other across the classroom and play games on their chromebook. I am also not comfortable with the idea of relying on native speaker (bilingual students) translating for ELLs because it's asking too much out of one or two kids. Maybe it works for more advanced classes but my students need to learn foundational skills first before moving on to inquiry. While I am alright with incorporating paired discussions and group presentations here and there, I think they need more opportunities to practice reading and writing individually and receive feedback. Tell me what has actually worked for you with your own classes.

81 Comments
2024/02/09
18:30 UTC

26

Got an insight into what I must look like.

I watched the Putin/carlsen interview with my wife. Putin just could not help himself by going back to the history, explaining each little thing while Carlsen looked on, confused and unsure how this could possibly be relevant.

Carlsen interrupted to ask vaguely orienting questions and putin would answer "this was the 13th century", then immediately kept going on and on, adding more digressions and characters.

I asked "is this what the students see when I talk?... wait, is this what it's like for you whenever we visit an historical site?"

My wife replied "yes".

16 Comments
2024/02/09
08:56 UTC

0

Teach Anything AI (no sign-up)

1 Comment
2024/02/08
01:52 UTC

25

Classwork

I’m in student teaching right now and I’m struggling to come up with classwork ideas for students to work on. My first question is, do you give an assignment everyday you have a class? If not, how do you fill the time of the class? I feel if I don’t give an assignment, I have nothing to fill that extra class time with besides me talking more.

Second, I would just like some ideas for classwork. I do a lot of readings, especially primary, but some secondary. Lmk your guys’ advice, thanks.

30 Comments
2024/02/08
00:59 UTC

7

Best ELA activities for US History?

My principal told me today that we have some money to do some ela cross curricular lessons in my classes. I teach US History (WW1 and beyond is coming up) and Street Law. What are some fun activities/curriculum you like to use?

16 Comments
2024/02/08
00:08 UTC

2

[Opinions Wanted] Engaging Student Tools

Hi! My friend and I are currently University students studying education and computer science. Our community has a lot of K-12 schools that are struggling to meet our state education standards and we want to do something about it! We hope to build a tech tool driving student engagement and content retention.

Fill out here: https://forms.gle/RGw1gxp8ExMBWqz46

TLDR ~ If you are an educator (in any manner) and could answer ANY or ALL questions on this form, it would really help out a couple college kids trying to impact their community :)

2 Comments
2024/02/07
13:20 UTC

17

Breaking up the slog of document work to find more "fun" activities idea.

So this is going to sound negative but I'm not viewing it as so. I'm in year 5 of being the only social studies teacher at a small district. I've had to build all my own curriculum for 4 preps. For my junior World Civ class, I have largely built things on adapting SHEG and New Visions type lessons and filter them through inquiry formats. I'm starting to use Eduprotocols a lot now to reorganize/boost engagement too.

Today, this one junior girl (who, to be fair, is not a big enjoyer of school as it is and also did not say this in a way to be mean to me) said "I used to really enjoy history class before high school. This year especially it feels like we do a lot of the same stuff but just a little different."

And you know what, she’s right. We’ve been in the Renaissance to Imperialism train so far and a lot of these activities I have have used are pretty similar. I don’t necessarily need a pep talk or anything. I feel like I’m doing a better job this year. I still don’t know how to do a little bit of content to feed the inquiry/skills stuff and assess it well. An sometimes kids just have to do challenging reading activities that they don’t like.

But, I do want to act on what she said. The nice part of being the only HS SS teacher is can do whatever I want and change things whenever I want. So long story long, what are things you do that the kids find fun? What are some lessons/activities/toolbox things you use in class that are a little more silly/fun/random/different? Maybe activities that don’t feel like a “doing stuff” type day but actually are. Thanks!

13 Comments
2024/02/07
02:15 UTC

12

Fun "would you rather" ideas

I have a board where students can vote with (typically) history-themed "would you rather" or either/or questions, but I'm running out of ideas. Would appreciate any help thinking of some fun ones!

12 Comments
2024/02/06
19:30 UTC

6

Japanese expansion after WWI / before and during WWII

Any good activities / readings that anyone has done in the past to teach about Japanese expansion without using direct instruction?? (Want to give my kids a little break from the direct instruction!)

5 Comments
2024/02/06
17:57 UTC

6

【Free Professional Development Online Seminar - get 6 free credit from University of Southern California once complete it!】👉https://china.usc.edu/seminars/east-asia-origins-1800-mondays-february-26-may-20-2024

0 Comments
2024/02/06
04:30 UTC

7

Ancient Greece Documentaries for 6th graders?

I teach 6th grade World History, my students have been asking me if we can watch a movie (some of them definitely mean an actual movie, some do mean a documentary), I think this could be a nice break from regular programming (with some kind of viewing guide of course). We're starting a unit on Ancient Greece right now, and I was wondering if anyone knew of any documentaries that are appropriate for the 6th grade level that cover Ancient Greece. I'm not 100% set on this, especially considering some attention spans, but I would appreciate knowing what's out there in case. This is my first year with 6th graders so I'm not sure what would be best, any advice is appreciated!

11 Comments
2024/02/05
03:42 UTC

7

Please help me Historians

Hopefully this is allowed. But I have to take three Praxis II (5941) Which covers U.S. and world history. Does anyone have a study guide book/review I can either have or buy from you? They are over $100 bucks online! Omg. So I thought my last try would be here on reddit if someone has one I can buy cheaper.

I'm confident in my history content but I just KNOW they are gonna ask me some far out question that I have no idea on like "who was the Mayan Chief in 1408" or something wild like that.

14 Comments
2024/02/04
20:51 UTC

2

Those That Use Social Media To Teach Civics - Opportunity

FOR THOSE THAT USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO TEACH CIVICS AND CITIZENSHIP- AWESOME OPPORTUNITY FROM MY COLLEAGUE

Hey All,

Those that are lucky enough, have a colleague that is more than just a fellow professional to talk to. One that advocates for us, guides us, and can act as a mentor. This opportunity comes from that colleague for me. He is looking for interviews for his dissertation, and there is PAYMENT just for answering questions about the hard work you have already done.

Please read below

One of my colleagues is recruiting participants to take part in a doctoral pilot study for his future dissertation. He is looking to interview social studies teachers who use social media for civics and citizenship education with their students. If you are interested in talking about how you engage your students in digital spaces, you can find all the details in the attached letter. There is also a $50payment for anyone who participates.

Thank you all for your possible time and help,

Luke LaChac

0 Comments
2024/02/03
17:45 UTC

5

How to Improve Vocab Cards for Middle Schoolers

I am looking for guidance on how to improve a vocabulary activity that I am trying out with my 7th grade world history class this year. They are called Historémon cards.

Students are assigned vocabulary words and important people, places, and things at the beginning of each unit. They are given a sheet(s) of card stock with blank Pokemon Card templates and are required to make a card for each item. I give them all of the words and definitions, and they are responsible for creating the cards, adding an illustration, and either providing an original definition in their own words or creating a relevant "power" for the cards. For example, one student created a Pharaoh card with the following power, "Follow Me My Ducklings: People around you must follow your every order." This is exactly what I was looking for, but it's not what I'm getting from the majority of students.

As we near the end of the unit, we "battle" cards. I made paper battlefields, students use beans as HP, they quiz each other over their vocab terms (for the whole year), there are random powerups, and it's generally a fun 1/2 class that most students look forward to. It's not the most time-efficient activity, but many of them love it, it creates buy in for the cards in general, and I love it when kids act like kids.

Problems with my current design:

  • As it stands now, they are okay, but students often just Google the word and try to copy an image they find online. I want to find a way to require students to demonstrate original thought when making each card. Ideally, each card takes 3-5 minutes to create.
  • Many students don't understand the idea of a card having a "power," which is totally fair. We aren't all nerds.
  • When those students try to create their own definition instead of a power, they often just make minor changes to the provided definitions. I get it. There are only so many ways to define Pharaoh. This makes grading their cards super subjective and a battle that I would rather not fight.

Potential improvements:
*Add "types" by requiring students to categorize each card. For example, make students indicate if the card best fits as technology, natural resource, land form, religion, government, social structure, art, etc.. Maybe require a sentence justifying their choice?
*Require students to add an original sentence using the term.

If anyone has some ideas on how to improve this activity, I would love to hear them! Bonus points if it is something I can incorporate into our battles. No idea is too crazy.

5 Comments
2024/02/03
17:20 UTC

7

Have a Budget need ideas

I recently joined a high school that has to spend money before end of the year or it disappears. What is on your list of things needed for the modern history classroom. I am thinking of starting with a request for a set of historical maps. (FYI I already have a viewboard (smartboard), all students have laptops, any thing subscription based is off the table.) High School US and Civics

12 Comments
2024/02/03
15:43 UTC

10

APUSH summer reading book?

Hi all, I'm halfway through my first year teaching APUSH and I absolutely love it. I got hired for this job rather later in the summer and the students were already given a summer reading assignment at the end of last year which is mandatory for the course. Anyway I was thinking of giving them a different book since the one they read was "The Fifties" and I feel like that's a strange place to start at the beginning of the year. Does anyone use books in their class or have suggestions for summer reading? I was hoping to give the next cohort something more relevant to the beginning of the course and was thinking about something on the Glorious Revolution. I also thought about "Guns Germs and Steel" but I feel like that's a better book for a world history course.

30 Comments
2024/02/03
11:31 UTC

7

Must have DVD Documentaries and Movies for US History ?

Hi - I know dvds are going out of fashion. But they’re still around and I have a little dvd player in my classroom that I’ve used on occasions.

I teach 8th grade US History and Im considering building up a dvd collection for buffer days or emergencies. What are some must have documentaries and movies every US history teacher should have? For sure I’m getting the Ken Burns Civil War - I’m just wondering what else you all use

41 Comments
2024/02/03
03:16 UTC

5

What would you do?

I’ve been subbing since last semester in my county to make some money while I finish my degree. Im currently a history education major and am set to begin my teacher preparation program in the fall.

I have been subbing at this high school for an entire month now. The students all seem to like me and all the staff seem to like having me around and subbing in their classroom. So much so that I was approached by one of the AP’s about potentially coming on as a paraprofessional so that I can be there full time make a little more money and get insurance benefits. They’d also be more than glad to hire me once I finish my degree.

This seemed like a no brainer to me at first until I checked my colleges course schedule for the teacher preparation program. The classes are all exclusively in the morning and in person. Nothing online or afternoon.

I obviously can’t do both and something’s gotta give. I either decline the job and keep subbing or maybe I consider switching over to just a history major. Which just means more history classes and no education preparation classes.

What would you do in my shoes?

Side note: I don’t qualify for financial aid because of my immigration status. So student teaching will be a struggle financially. Also in my state you don’t need an education specific degree, just need to pass the state subject exam and have some type of bachelors degree.

6 Comments
2024/02/03
03:14 UTC

7

looking for interview participants for an interview study

Hey everyone, my friend is recruiting participants to take part in his doctoral pilot study. He is looking to interview social studies teachers who use social media for civics and citizenship education with their students. The study explores how and why some teachers use social media with students and how you define citizenship in digital spaces like that. If you are interested in talking about how you engage your students in digital spaces, you can find all the details in this letter. There is also a $50 gift card for anyone who participates!

My friend tried to post the info from a new Reddit account, but it was getting auto-blocked.

Edit: added missing hyperlink for the letter.

3 Comments
2024/02/03
00:37 UTC

7

Skits and plays

Any good resources for plays, skits, and scenes to do with middle schoolers. Did one for Shays rebellion and it went very well. It's rough for the kids to write out a whole script as I'm dealing with WILDLY different reading levels.

Any recommendations?

3 Comments
2024/02/02
21:45 UTC

8

Extra Class?! What do I do?!

Hey everyone,

Our Principal has been told by our district that we have some extra money. Our principal is offering up an extra class for an extra .2 or 20% pay.

For reference I work at a great middle school with an awesome principal. I can assure no altering motives.

But the reason that I’m writing is to see if anyone else has been in this position.

Our principal says it is for credit recovery and it is entirely up to us what we do there are no standards we need to hit.

One English teacher is going to mix ELA skills with Organization planner skills and cooking (she also teaches Home EC.

I was wondering if anyone has had a similar opportunity and had any good ideas with what I might do with minimal prep.

It’s also a pass/Fail class.

No grading

23 Comments
2024/02/02
21:39 UTC

5

Looking for simulation games

2 Comments
2024/02/01
17:39 UTC

14

Special, unusual, or favorite teaching method, tool, or resource? Anything

I’m just wondering what you have up your sleeve. Something someone shared with you that benefited your class, something you came up with and want to share.

Literally anything, for classroom management, tools/methods for learning, helpful planning resources. Something in your bookmarks you always go to.

Whatcha got?

19 Comments
2024/02/01
03:16 UTC

15

Culture War Stories

Hey guys, just wanted to create a thread to hear about any stories you guys have of your teaching being impeded by political/social factors, either via admin, parents, or whatever else, also would love to hear where you're from

31 Comments
2024/01/31
23:11 UTC

12

Teaching with Engagement

Hey all, I’m a history teacher in rural North Carolina, and have been for 10 years now. Throughout my time I’ve worked hard to cultivate and cumulate engaging resources. I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers, and have thus started making my own resources. I’d love to share one to you all for feedback, if you’d like. This is on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire! The link is here. I hope you all enjoy it!

2 Comments
2024/01/31
21:29 UTC

8

Resource for American History

Hello y'all, I have looked for a while and found this. It's essentially a browser game where you take on the role of a historical candidate and try to win a presidential election with them, and learn a good bit of history and political science along the way!

Scenarios available on regular version:

2020 - Biden and Trump playable

2016 - Trump and Clinton playable

2012 - Obama and Romney playable

2000 - Bush and Gore playable

1988 - Bush and Dukakis playable

1976 - Carter and Ford playable

1968 - Nixon, Humphrey and Wallace playable

1964 - LBJ and Goldwater playable

1960 - Kennedy and Nixon playable

1948 - Truman and Dewey playable

1916 - Wilson and Hughes playable

1896 - McKinley and Bryan playable

1860 - Lincoln and Douglas playable

1844 - Polk and Clay playable

On 'Mod Loader' you can find various other usermade scenarios, majorly alternate history. Of these the most educational are:

Declaration: 1776 - play as John Adams trying to get the Declaration of Independence passed

Mods by u/ItsAstronomical: 1868, 1872, 1876, 1920, 1928, 1936, 1956, 2016 Democratic Primaries

Even international mods are playable. Some of the best are South Korea 1963, South Korea 1971, Italy 1976, UK 2017 and 2021 Germany

0 Comments
2024/01/31
13:42 UTC

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