Stop lecturing about history and help your students engage with it! They will use the highest levels of thinking in this challenging, but engaging activity as they figure out for themselves who Christopher Columbus really is: A Hero or a Villain? I had great success with my students and this activity as spontaneous debates erupted in the classroom over which title this controversial character deserves.
This is part two of a three part unit on the Age of Exploration. This section is a primary source analysis where students will use 9 documents to determine if Christopher Columbus deserves the title "Hero" or "Villain." These engaging documents include primary and secondary sources about the explorer. Students will analyze paintings, illustrations, letters, journal entries, reports, and news articles that share a variety of opinions about Columbus and who he was. Each document is fairly short, the longest being a page, and so are very manageable for students. Depending on the length of your class periods, this activity could take up to two days.
If you have purchased the Aztec primary source set from my Native American Unit, this set is designed the same way and will help your students continue to build on those skills as the year progresses.
A PowerPoint is included to help you be successful as well as a packet for you that includes a key and tips in order to simplify your lesson planning and help you make the most out of this teaching tool. Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to see a sample: email@example.com
This bundle includes multiple presentations, notes, activities, projects, etc. All extremely engaging and well planned out.
Your students will explore all the levels of Bloom's Taxonomy as they study the collision of two worlds.
Includes all the presentations, projects, activities, and lesson plans I have created that relate to the Age of Exploration. It includes Part One and Part Two of the Age of Exploration, the Columbian Exchange Cafe, and the Pokexplorer activity along with a complete student packet and a teacher key when applicable.
Students will create a menu complete with appetizers, main course items, and desserts. Each menu item should reflect your students' understanding of how the Columbian Exchange changed the world, specifically the world of food. Includes a handout and a rubric.
This resource will be a part of "Age of Exploration Part 3."
Fun pictures to help get kids writing. My students in the past responded well to these pictures (i.e. giraffes waterskiing, iceclimbers, etc). They can be used in a variety of assignments and are in an easy to edit PowerPoint format.
After learning what it means to make inferences, students will be surprised at how much they can infer with very little information. This lesson is easy to adjust depending on time and background knowledge and is a great lesson to springboard into other activities.
This is a fun and engaging final activity that the students work towards throughout a literary unit on Agatha Christie's novel, "And Then There Were None." This set includes a handout for the students, a rubric, and an explanation page for the teacher. Get ready for an exciting day filled with classroom discussion and accusations as students literally get in character and try to figure out "who done it!"
I used this in my classroom to make the rules more memorable and fun for my students. The file is in word so feel free to edit as needed. My philosophy was simple, easy to remember, positively stated rules.
This is designed to be a unit for about two weeks. The packet itself is 18 pages. I have included the packet as both a PDF and a docx as well as a teacher version with answers, explanations, and tips.
This packet includes introduction pages, a geography portion, big questions, guided notes, a group project, primary sources analysis, and an individual creative project. The unit is modeled using Blooms Taxonomy: it starts with knowledge, but rises quickly through the different levels until the students are creating and making judgments of their own. It follows closely to three big questions that will help students differentiate myth from fact, analyze the way Native Americans used resources to the way we use them today, and look closely at how artifacts can help us better understand the cultures that left them behind. The most important part of the packet is a primary source analysis that allows students to compare and contrast information from 5 primary sources about the downfall of the Aztecs. These are sources that were carefully picked for this age group that are interesting and easy to understand.
Please message me if you have any questions. I will also divide the packet up and sell it separately if that interests you. If you'd like, you can browse through any of my resources that begin with "Native American Unit" and get a better idea of what is included.
An engaging presentation where students learn about context clues through inquiry and then identify types at the end of the lesson instead of the beginning. Students will discover they can define words such as "bellwether" and "saxicolous" through careful reading and context clues.
The PowerPoint presentation includes an attention grabber, an activity, and notes. Can be completed in as short as 15 minutes or longer depending on your students' background knowledge and how in depth you decide to take the discussion.
Includes a fun worksheet that uses Lewis Carroll famous poem, "The Jabberwocky" to put context clues into action. Great way to assess what the student's have learned.
This is Part One of a unit on European Exploration. This section covers an introduction to the unit with an attention grabber activity, intro to the Big Questions of the Unit, a lesson on how maps can be biased, a geography assignment built into a guided notes presentation, and an engaging presentation.
The presentation, guided notes, and geography portion explain the why behind European exploration and connects the past to the present without weighing the students or the teacher down with meticulous details. It covers the main ideas while bringing up important points and questions. It'll have the students connecting events that happened over 500 years ago to current events like calling the War on Terror as a "Crusade" and current level of imports to the U.S. from Asian countries. These questions will help students grasp the importance of being sensitive to historical events, what we can learn from them, and the ways they still impact us today. As a bonus, there are links to a couple entertaining, but applicable, clips to break up the note taking.
Keep a look out for Part Two and Part Three which will contain a Primary Source Analysis and engaging group and individual projects and assignments.
If you like this unit, consider purchasing my Native American unit which is similar in scope, style, and focus.
This set includes resources on the Columbian Exchange and a project for researching explorers called Pokexplorers: Gotta Explore it All! It also includes the completed student packet.
The entire Exploration Unit can be purchased as a bundle for $15.
In this activity, students will learn how Christopher Columbus's discovery of America led to a global chain of events that changed and shaped the world. This activity is easily adaptable. You could simply use this as a boring notes page if you are short on time. It could be completed individually or with partners as a research assignment. Or you could turn it into a fun game where students race each other in teams, using their background knowledge and textbooks to try and place the cards in the correct box. Any way you do it, at the end the students are provided with a visual understanding of how this event changed the world. There are two versions of the actual worksheet, a word version for editing and a PDF file for simplicity. I have also included a key. The final two files are "cards." The cards are supposed to be cut out so students can move them around and experiment. It makes it easier for the teacher to come and check and tell them yes or no and have them experiment again without continually erasing. The complete set does not have pictures. The other set is not complete, but has pictures if you are interested.
This is one of my favorite units. I did it almost every year I was teaching and always had a good response. It works well because the writing assignment involves choice and authenticity. They aren’t writing what you tell them to write and they aren’t writing to you. This works great for a persuasive writing unit in English or a government unit in U.S. History. Students write official letters to their government representatives.
Included in this set is a page for the teacher explaining how I taught this unit, a page on ethos/pathos/logos that can be used as a handout or a lesson, a planning page that guides the student's research and outline, a letter format page to help the student understand how to write an official letter, and a peer edit page for the revising process.
The prereading activity includes four very short primary source documents about slavery in order to give students the background knowledge they will need for the text. It would be a good idea to have the prereading activity completed in groups and discussed as a class.
The questions to the text include 13 different questions, some comprehensive (ex: How did Douglass learn to read?), some text-to-self comparisons (ex: If you were in Douglass’s position, what do you think would be the most difficult part of life as a slave for you?), and some analytical (ex: Why do you think Frederick Douglass called this story about him learning to read, “A Spirit Unshackled?” ). I'm including it as a docx to simplify editing for you. You may add or delete questions as needed for your student's ability and time.
I have included both a teacher version and a student version for this project. There is also a presentation to help you teach the students about artifacts, how to analyze them, and introduces the final project. For this project students will create an artifact that should reveal something about themselves as well as their community. This project allows for a lot of freedom and is a great beginning of the year project, which conveniently is when Native American units are usually taught. It will allow you as a teacher to get to know who your students are personally as well as what their strengths are as a student. The PDF is for you, the teacher, and gives you some tips and ideas for how to introduce this project as well as an easy way to keep tabs on their progress and, finally, fun ideas for presenting the artifacts at the end of the unit.
This is part of a larger unit which can be purchased in whole for $15 from my store. It is called "Native American Unit." Please let me know if you have any questions!
A presentation to teach students HOW to use a textbook and a class poster to remind them. When I was teaching, I found a lot of students were completely unfamiliar with HOW to read nonfiction, informational texts, and textbooks. This is a necessary life skill and one worth teaching in EVERY classroom. 85% of what we read as adults in nonfiction, not to mention the fact that if our students going to make it through middle school, high school, and college a few tips about how to conquer those daunting texts are be more than necessary.
In this engaging presentation filled with examples and tips, students can find out just how to conquer these texts and make textbooks work for them. This also includes a fun assignment with a rubric that has students making their own "textbooks" all about their favorite subject.... their lives ;)
(I've also include the External Text Features Scavenger Hunt just for your convenience. This is one of the free resources in my shop)
Have your students create “Pokexplorer” cards based off the popular card game and battle each other! Includes a presentation with detailed explanations, blank cards, sample cards, and energy cards.
This is a fun way for students to present basic information about an explorer and learn about other explorers when they play. It involves more critical thinking than a basic poster. An in depth understanding of the explorer is required in order to create attacks and powers that “fit in” with who each explorer was and the impact (positive or negative) he had on the area he explored.
This project is easily adaptable and the presentation includes a link if the teacher would prefer students to use computers to create their cards instead of designing them by hand.
Get all my Native American resources, highly recommended by TES and others for one great price! Includes notes, presentations, projects, activities, assignments, and an Aztec primary source analysis.
Many of these are things I used when teaching U.S History, but I have taken the time to perfect them in a way that excites me as a teacher and I feel will do the same for you and your students. It is not designed to be a comprehensive information unit about Native groups as that would be impossible since there were hundreds just in the U.S. It is designed as an introduction to five very different groups and as a way to help students appreciate the past and those cultures, understand how knowledge about them can help us today, and develop the critical thinking skills that come from primary source analysis.
Students will practice their knowledge of context clues and connotation by studying Lewis Carroll's famous poem "The Jabberwocky." There are two activities in this worksheet which both lend themselves to great discussions. Students enjoy this poem and it is a great way to explain how connotation and context clues work together (the way the words make us feel help us understand what they mean). It is also great for teaching how certain SOUNDS can even make us feel a certain way. This is important in any poetry unit. Basically there are a lot of fun things to do with this poem and a lot of different directions to take it.
This engaging presentation will teach your students what an inference is, how to make them first using pictures and then using simple poems, and teach them how to back up their inferences with evidence.
Includes a fun activity where students will solve poetic riddles and then create one of their own.
Neat and clear presentation. Easy to adapt to your needs.