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.
Our current government invested heavy dollars into the commemoration of the War of 1812. The Canadian War Museum created a stellar exhibit showing the four major perspectives of the conflict (American, British, ‘Canada-British’ and First Nations) and there have been a plethora of reenactments along the St. Lawrence River for the 200 year ‘celebrations.’
Sexias and Morton’s team have created a plethora of activities and lessons around the War of 1812 using the Historical THinking Concepts of ‘the Big Six.‘ (If you haven’t invested in this fantastic resource, you should. Buy it here.)
These lessons help teachers to give students historical inquiry strategies and skills. Although I’ll come back to these again and again, Sexias and Morton (2013) conclude:
To think historically, students need to be able to:
Establish historical significance
Use primary source evidence
Identify continuity and change
Analyze cause and consequence
Take historical perspectives, and
Understand the ethical dimension of historical interpretations.
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
3. Facing History and Ourselves: Teaching Strategies for Critical Thinking and Literacy
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.
We’ve been hearing about the new curriculum for Social Studies (grades 1 – 6) and for History and Geography (grades 7 – 8).
The social studies, history, geography, and Canadian and world studies programs will enable students to become responsible, active citizens within the diverse communities to which they belong. As well as becoming critically thoughtful and informed citizens who value an inclusive society, students will have the skills they need to solve problems and communicate ideas and decisions about significant developments, events, and issues. (p 6)
I just have to read it, learn it and then be ready to teach it to Teacher Candidates in September. Luckily, we don’t HAVE to implement it until September 2014.
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.
– 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
– 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.
Other Ways to Search Wikipedia
10 Word Wiki (gives you summary in 10 words exactly)
– this might be inspiration for neat writing activity too!
Simple English Wikipedia (for kids, English Language Learners or for those who need a simpler version)
Wiki Mind Maps – connects ideas within Wikipedia links for word association
The Wiki Game (use the links to connect unrelated ideas – the 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon for the web)