Think Literacy

The Ministry of Education has created a variety of lessons and ideas relating to literacy. The whole series is available online. Their approach looks at reading, writing and oral strategies for developing skills in understanding all types of text.

Here is the resource for Gr 10 History (WW2) and Civics. 

There’s also a resource for 7/8 History.

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Tops and Tails

Tops and tails encourages students to get up, interact and think about the text they have and the ones they encounter.

Students are provided a portion of a quote on a sheet of paper or cue card. Their job is find the other half of the card. This can be a great icebreaker as students can be required to introduce themselves to people to whom they talk.

Variations:

1) A definition and the term

2) A date (or a decade?) and its significant event

3) Sentences from a text (students find other half and then, as a larger group, try to put the text in the right order and PHYSICALLY stand in this order)

4) Literacy – Have students discuss why certain matches didn’t work together

Example:

History Tops and Tails – quote scramble

How to:

1) create your phrases (Make sure you have enough for all your students!)

2) cut in individual pieces

3) give to students

4) Fun ensues.

Teachers on Pinterest

I don’t pin*, but some of my closest friends do (Bronwyn or JenGilpin). They guarantee me that this is a brilliant way to share ideas visually. These two ladies also happen to be kindergarten teachers.

I stumbled across this great board for teachers. There doesn’t seem to be a lot for high school aged students, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t adjust some of these fantastic ideas for their lessons. Heck, many of these ideas could be just as effective in a grade 3 room as they would in a grade 10 History room.

Here are some of my favourites and how I might use them.

1. Classroom management

This would be really great for 7 and 8s. They may be able to ‘earn back’ letters before they have to wait x minutes after the bell.

2. Building new groups. I have students line up in different orders and then count them off in smaller groups.

3. Oral Assessments/Questioning

4. Literacy and Communication using evidence

5. Literacy

Young historians or applied level students would love using a giant venn diagram on the ground to compare periods of time or experiences of different Canadians.

6. Building Relevance

Students often struggle making connections between History and their own lives. Sometimes, it’s easier for them to connect to non-personal things AND this still demonstrates their ability apply ideas. Consider tweaking this anchor chart for the history classroom.

* I’ll admit I started an account whilst researching this post. I’m pinning. *

Scategories (a game for any classroom)

Scategories

Scategories is a great board game allowing all ages and abilities to contribute. This is a strategy for an introductory lesson as it activates previous knowledge as well as gets students to think about related ideas.

I make a game sheet. I usually make it small enough to fit three game sheets on one page (saves photo-copy clicks!).

Game 1                         game 2                          game 3

1 Famous Canadians
2 Canadian Places  Saskatoon
3 Laws  Street Signs
4 In my Community  Salvation Army
5 Rights and Responsibilities
6 Common Symbols  Swoosh (Nike)
7 About Politics  Socialism
8 Democracy means  Speaking Up
9 Non-Governmental Organizations  Save the Children
10 Things Citizens do…  sign petitions
11 Movies which teach Civics concepts  Stand and Deliver
12 Synonyms for Civics

I change the categories to suit the subject or unit.

How to Play

Goal: get the most points

Object: earn points by having unique words in each category

1) Teacher picks a letter of the alphabet (ex: S – as above)

2) Students have 2 or 3 minutes to come up with words which start with this letter and fit the category (see game 2 above).

3) Students cannot repeat the same word in a different category. (They can’t have ‘Stand’ for ‘things citizens do’  and also “Stand and Deliver” for movies.)

4) Take up answers. If one group has the same word as another, students strike off their answers and no points are awarded. If the group has a unique word, one point is awarded.

5) Add up points and declare a winner!

Variation:
Aschew the use of the letter and have students use course-related/unit related terms to fit the categories. This can be a great review!

Literacy and History

Literacy & history resources

Resource: Examining Bias in the media (Sir Sam Hughes’s Dismissal)

More Literacy Resources:

1. Think Literacy (Ontario Ministry of Education)

– features ready to use lessons for every area of the curriculum

– outlines general reading, writing and thinking literacy strategies which can be applied across the curriculum

2. Pre, During and Post Reading Strategies

3. Facing History and Ourselves: Teaching Strategies for Critical Thinking and Literacy

4. Pre-reading Strategies

Making Inferences:

Activity: Students make Observations about what happens in the short film. Then they make inferences about what is being suggested by the things they observed. Encourage creative and thoughtful ideas. They aren’t ‘right’ answers, just ‘better’ answers.

iMovie on the iPad- Trailers

iMovie Trailer Activity instructions

Our school has 20 iPads in the library. I have been trying to figure out ways to use them in my classroom. Unfortunately, the way our current system works, there are few apps directly related to Canadian History. I turned my sights on iMovie.

My Grade 10 Academic History class served as pioneers in developing an activity (and avoiding some of the bugs) revolving around the $5 iMovie app.

Students were asked to select a variety of images around a topic, in this case, an introduction to Canada’s involvement in WW2. Then, using the basic-pre-made trailer option, students’ text and images were animated, set to music and packaged in a really slick format.

PLUSES:
– the students LOVED this creativity.
– they love the iPad and the simple image save functions
– the trailers look professional
– because they couldn’t obsess about music choices of storyboard setup, they were able to start and finish a 1 min trailer in a 75 minute period
– easy upload to Youtube or Vimeo

CONS:
– because the iPads are shared with the whole school, the students couldn’t save work they haven’t finished
– YouTube can take a long time to upload and if students don’t have their own account, you have to provide them with a password.
– Students need to remember (and learn) to sign out the account they use to share the finished product

Here’s an example of what they produced.

World War Two: Raid On Dieppe from HTrinity on Vimeo.

Bridging the Gap – Student Success as Student Servant (technology) Leadership

Replace-Fear-with-Curiosity

Bridge the Gap between teacher knowledge and student knowledge through a technology they’re interested in playing with.

Why Are you (sometimes) hesitant to use technology in the classroom?

(this will take you to a Google doc and you’ll be able to anonymously contribute).

Student success is consistently tied to their connectedness to the school and classroom. They

Easy Ways to Include Technology in your classroom:

Fakebook Discussion Threads

Fake Twitter Threads

Want to try real twitter? See this post.

Online Comics:

Bitstripsforschools.com –> I have set us up with a class and an activity comic so you can have some fun playing with this amazing program.

http://www.kerpoof.com — Better for a younger audience and creates .jpegs or can save if signed in
žhttp://www.xtranormal.com – Requires log in
Mind Mapping
text2mindmap.com – takes text broken down through tabs and creates a mind map with associated sister and child branches
bubbl.us — Tool allows students to determine the space and orientation of their map, colours, etc

JUST PLAY.

Here’s a great fun activity to help your students engage with the interactive white board. –> www.drawastickman.com

Newspaper Clip Generator (and other things)

Other Neat Stuff:

http://waterlife.nfb.ca/#/ — An interactive  multimedia presentation about Canada’s Waterways

http://flawed.nfb.ca/#/flawed — Body Image, Love and a beautiful multimedia story

PicMonkey.com

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Want further Inspiration? This is a great “catch all” site.

Google has created an interesting resource to help teach students how to “google” better. It’s American-centric, but you can adjust the concepts to make it more accessible in your classroom.