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History with Primary Sources
Category: Social Studies
Tags: primary sources primary source documents

Incorporating primary source analysis into your history studies is easier than ever these days due to a number of free sites with ready-made lessons and activities. Here are several for American history:

Write an Essay: At Zoom in, individual lessons guide learners in the study of different types of primary sources, such as speeches, letters, political cartoons, oral histories, audio recordings, and photographs. After weighing the evidence and different perspectives, students write an explanatory or argumentative essay. (One example: the benefits and disadvantages for young women working in America’s first factores). The lessons cover all the major eras of U.S. history.

 

Another site that presents conflicting accounts for debate, and prompts learners to respond with an essay, is Historical Thinking Matters.

 

Investigate a Historical Scene: Explore various case files to draw conclusions about historical events. What caused the Jamestown colony to fail? Who was responsible for the Boston Massacre? What was it like for children living during the Civil War? Through these and other investigations at Historical Scene Investigation, students become history detectives by analyzing evidence, searching for clues, and finally cracking the case.

 

Solve a History Mystery: At The Price of Freedom: Americans at War, explore the wars Americans have fought through primary sources. You can also play an interactive Who Am I game that presents you with a mystery character you identify using as clues a quotation and objects associated with that character.

 

 

Sharpen Critical Thinking with Interactives: Annenberg Learner presents a series of primary source-based interactives that target such critical thinking skills as analysis, and development of a thesis. The site also features an American History Course organized into 22 units, with videos, text, questions and activities. Each unit presents several broad themes that can be studied, and also includes associated primary documents, like old photographs and political cartoons, plus assignments to go along with them.

 

Use Guided Analysis Worksheets: These worksheets, developed by the Education Staff of the National Archives and Records Administration, provide questions for examining:

Visit the Library of Congress site for addtional primary source study guides.

Related Post: Learning History Through Role-Playing

Buggin' Out
Category: Science
Tags: bug insect insect identification pictures of bugs insects for kids

 

For budding entomolgists and nature detectives, these free insect investigations help take the learning outside: 

Bug HuntingTop tips for conducting great bug hunts with your "little trekkers," with info on basic bug kit; where to look for bugs; basic study questions; and how to set up a trap.

Field Guides: Essential for comparing illustrations with actual crawlies and flying beasties discovered, and for learning fast facts. Here are a couple you can download for free: 

  • Orkin Guide: Has color photos and basic information on common insects, like bees, wasps, mosquitoes, flies, ants, etc. 24 pages.
  • EPA Bug Book: This more comprehensive garden guide contains pictures and information on good and bad bugs, bug control tips, homemade bugspray recipes, and plants that attract good bugs. 52 pages.

Free Online Books: 

 

 

                        

Field Studies:

Basic Insect Observation Worksheet

Build a Bug Habitat Download

Build a Model Bug Download

Cricket StudiesResources for capturing, keeping, and studying crickets, with data worksheets, ideas for experiments, and sample two-week lesson plan.

Memorial Day
Category: Social Studies
Tags: memorial day

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