History Professional Learning Network
- American-Indian Wars
My class would not be complete if the students had not mastered the American history well. Therefore, it is up to me to find the best resources possible to ensure they understand properly. This history website is useful in providing information about the Native Americans. The photo on the home page provides a visual illustration of what the war presumably looked like. I like this site because of its arrangement, and how the information is laid out. It does not only state a story about war, but also highlights interesting facts during the period by asking the “Did You Know” question. It has links to videos about Native Americans and other interesting colourful photos to look at. In one of the videos, an actor performs Chief Black Hawk’s famous surrender speech in the 19th century.
- Spark Notes
American history can probably take years to master but thanks to this site, the knowledge has been simplified. It provides a detailed historical guide that has been broken down to several chapters. I like how the site provides a general summary but then goes to break down events by their significance. For example, there is a chapter for each of the Sugar Act, Stamp Act, and how Americans reacted to these laws. It also provides a timeline to avoid scheming through large amounts of texts for information. The site also provides an analysis of the main characters during the pre-revolution period and this is good for a class discussion. At the end of the page, there are study questions and tests that I can also use to determine if the class has mastered the content of this course.
- Pre-Revolution Timeline
Nothing shouts more “history is a fun subject to learn” than my students knowing they don’t have to take or write bulky notes with them every time they come to class. Furthermore, the most important aspect in learning history is being able to remember main events when they occurred, and the impact they had. The site consists purely of a timeline indicating events as they took place.
- Civil War
One of the best learning methods in history related courses or topics is taking the students back in time, and letting them make a comparison of past events to current ones. Going through this website is the best way to achieve this method. It has several links that don’t focus only on the historical aspect but try to bring history to the present state. There are events used to commemorate the war, and it’d be interesting for them to attend some of them to get a first-hand feel of the impact of the war on the current generation and society. Other than current events, the site also offers a map of the war and the major battles that occurred during the time by the state. It also has famous quotes about the war, made by the influencers at the time, which the students can memorize.
- Lessons of Our Land
This site was designed for teachers to provide options on how they can teach students about Native American history. The website is rich in resources and the list of videos and games provided will help break the monotony of dictating notes in class. I was curious to know about games that can be used as learning tools about Native Americans, and most of them involved role playing. I think I will surprise the students by using a role-playing game as a gradable test instead of the ordinary question and answer quiz.
- The Civil War
Several videos have been made about the war, but the one on this site offered a new recount of events and was produced with better filming technology. These war or historical films seem to have an issue with production quality, and more often students lose the psyche to watch them. Also, looking at a video is much more entertaining than reading a book, for an age that focuses more on the entertainment aspect of learning. The students are bound to love this film if they know it means they won’t have to skim through pages reading history. There is a bonus advantage that the movie is divided into short segments, making it easy to watch. It also directs people as to where to purchase this historical film.
- Learn NC
Different states conduct their classes in different ways. I bumped into this North Carolina site and viewed their study guide on teaching about American Indians. The writing is a bit illegible but I understood the outline. It has clear lesson plans that I can also adopt as part of my teaching guide.
- National Park Service: The Civil War
I like how the website is not congested with information but offers pictures instead as pathways to other stories. The pictures on the page struck me the most, especially of old the African-American soldiers. What I love about this site is the information on Civil Rights. The students also need to learn about the other side of the war that was not fought at the battlefronts. The most affected people were the African Americans who were forced to fight in a war, not of their choosing. The website goes into full detail of their struggle to fight for their rights and emancipation, and the movements formed during that time. It is a crucial era in America’s history that sets precedence in shaping the country, and the students should master these details well.
- Civil War Lesson Plans
I was immediately drawn to the topic “Civil War Animal Mascots” on the web page. Apparently, animal pets played a huge role during the war. I am lucky I got to access this website because of receiving new information that I previously lacked in knowledge. The site offers goals and objectives to achieve while learning about this era. It is a better learning guide for me as a teacher because it allows me to engage with the students by asking about their views on importance of pets. After doing so, they can relate their answers to their study and know the significance of pets during the war period. The site provides a link to a story about horses in the civil war. It will help them understand better the role played by animals. The website might be structured for teachers but the students can also self-navigate and answer the questions, or participate in activities to gain better understanding of the war.
- Captivating Civil War Activities for 8th Graders
This is an exciting interactive website for Social Studies teachers. An 8th-grade teacher asks about how to approach the war lessons and gets responses from other peers. Skimming through the comments, I found interesting suggestions that I also intend to use in my classes. For example, mapping to identify the key places, and then dividing the class to represent different groups in the war. The students can dramatize the siege while including dramatic effects such as weapons and battles sounds. Setting up such a class may be a daunting and challenging task, but the experience would totally be worth it. I gathered that the main agenda of this course is making sure that the students feel part of the historical events as much as they can.
- 10 Things You May Not Know About the French and Indian War
Just as this web page headline caught my attention, I intend to introduce the French and Indian war topic to my students the same way. I like the “did you know” concept. It raises curiosity about what you may not even be initially interested in knowing. The site makes only ten statements that are enough to understand the nature of this historic war. Did you know that George Washington made the first move on the attack that sparked the war? I hope my students will respond in the same curiosity, by wondering why he struck. How did he do it? How did it end? I have officially set my French-Indian war lesson in motion, thanks to this website.
- French and Indian War
Most of the other websites on the war take the format as this one. They consist of long narrations about the war, and stating major events and dates. I chose this one because at least it has images mages of the key figures that played a role in the war, and maps indicating the course of the battle. I like my “did you know” website better, but this one also provides a lot of additional information omitted by the other site. Even though the content may be a lot, the site is still easy to manoeuvre through and the information is very clear.
- Colonial Life Before the American Revolution
Once you open the site, you already get a feel of what life was before revolution from the large image displayed on the home page. For such courses, the more you can visualize your lesson, the better for the students. Using pictures, videos, and other resources will keep my students interested in a subject they would otherwise find boring. I also recommend this site because it largely provides visual display with precise narration at the bottom of each image. The students can use their imagination to picture what life was like, and to make it more interesting, I intend to present each image in class without the caption and have them give a description to the best of their ability.
- Timeline of the Revolutionary War
The concept of having a summarized version of events is appealing to both students and instructors. The website is precise about the occurrences of the revolutionary era and judging from how long the period stretches and the key events that take place, this website will be very useful to my students to peruse through and master the important dates. It also has mini-links for details for those who wish to know more about these events.
- The War of 1812
This was a little known war in America and did not have a huge impact as the others did. The website is clear, easy to read through, and the students would appreciate not having to scroll through volumes of context. The site also offers an option of visiting its museum to know more about the war.
- Well-made Movies About Slavery
I figured that there was no better way to go through this topic, to make the students understand the impact of slavery in America than having them watch films on the topic. Just to assert my point, the website offers over thirty films that have been produced on slavery. Going through all these films will be an impossible task but I can assign them to watch in groups and produce reports. They can then interchange the reports to read and assess each other’s opinions on the topic, and finally have one big class discussion. Slavery in America set in motion several aspects of the country’s social, economic, political, and cultural welfares. It is, therefore, crucial that I make sure the students know the weight of this topic.
- History of Anti-slavery International
I thought that this website would be helpful to students for them to master the dates of the slavery progression era. This is a back-up source of information that supplements the movies they watch, because it is also important for them to know the key dates associated with the topic. The timeline structure of text makes it easy to peruse through the website, and offers readers an opportunity to take part in the anti-slavery campaign. I signed up to see if there was anything I could volunteer to do within my constraints.
- Slavery In America
I would advise those who lack access to any of the films to read through this website. It gives a detailed breakdown of the events that preceded slavery. The timeline in this site is more detailed as compared to other one, because it comes complete with a narration of the events. The students should find it easy to navigate this website, and they also have the option of visiting its online gallery or watching video links. I loved how it also provided for an interactive platform with readers being able to ask questions, and getting prompt responses. It also has book reviews that the students can use for further reading in their free time.
- European Colonization of the Americas
This period also forms an important part of the American history that was plagued with wars over centuries. I had to find a site that was detailed but still easy to read through and this one fit the description. Even though it lacks colourful images or videos, the lay out is basic enough to give the necessary information required. I found it suitable because of the breakdown structure on its “contents” column that is easy to access information just by clicking on any link.
- Religion and the American Revolution
Religion played a key role during the revolutionary period and this website captures that information. It is visually appealing and the context well located within the page. I believe it will motivate my students to read because the words are not congested, and do not appear as bulky. At the side of the page, the site offers more links that can be used to gain further information from the topics.