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.


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


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: –> I have set us up with a class and an activity comic so you can have some fun playing with this amazing program. — Better for a younger audience and creates .jpegs or can save if signed in
ž – Requires log in
Mind Mapping – takes text broken down through tabs and creates a mind map with associated sister and child branches — Tool allows students to determine the space and orientation of their map, colours, etc


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

Newspaper Clip Generator (and other things)

Other Neat Stuff: — An interactive  multimedia presentation about Canada’s Waterways — Body Image, Love and a beautiful multimedia story


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.

Teaching Better Web Searching

The Ontario curriculum has a lot of “stuff” to cover. Facts, terms, concepts and theories are important and valid. Unfortunately, teachers often obsess over ensuring they ‘taught everything’ and there’s little time to teach skills.  This is the exact opposite of where we need to be heading to make our students productive, engaged adults of the future.

Dr. Sugata Mitra argues the future of education will require three core elements.

1) reading comprehension – students must be able to understand what they are reading and be critical about it

2) Search and retrieval skills (see below)

3) believe – thoughts and ideas have no limits. Create, inquire, challenge. Believe.

So, where do you start? Work these sorts of activities into your classes. Recognize your students will always go to Google first. Also remember, they have a lot of trouble finding things online. They aren’t necessarily the DIGITAL NATIVES they’re cracked up to be.

GoogleTipsAndTricksPres –> this is a great resource (thank you to Gabriel Massicotte for this document)!

My students often hear me say, “To the Google!” It’s their cue to pull out their smartphones and look for an answer.

As educators or parents, we also have to understand some of the more challenging aspects of googling. This fantastic TEDtalk addresses some issues we need to think about. Most importantly: how have my former choices on Google impacted the results I’m currently getting and how can I change that?

Graphic Organizers

I love graphic organizers like nothing else.  Many students are intimidated by the blank page. It’s amazing how adding some blocks or circles on a page to “fill out” make the work of writing or researching so much more manageable.

Students can be given graphic organizers to help outline “how many” concepts or ideas they should research. Further, an organizer can help ensure they extend their thinking beyond ‘gathering facts’ to ‘evaluate’ or ‘examine’ given teacher-directed language.

I found this AMAZING fill-in .pdf webpage a little while ago. I have gone back to using it again and again. There’s a webpage for so many topics and needs. Teaching students about these resources may help them to remember these as a starting point in their writing or organizing process.

Here is one of my Favourites: The Alphabet Organizer

alphabet exemplar – 3 Little Pigs