Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Nation of Immigrants

Here are some of my favorite resources I use with students on our discussion of Immigration in US History.

Interactive Immigration Maps:

NY Times Immigration Explorer

This is a very nice historical map that lets you explore not only different ethnic groups, but also different time periods as well. This is a great map to look at regions where immigrants settled, like the Swedish population in Gothenburg Nebraska. This can be a fun little discussion starter or tool for students to compare/contrast immigration groups over time.

Can you pass the Citizenship Test?

When we talk about Immigration I usually use this as a time to talk about how Immigration Law has changed throughout US History. One fun little activity I have students is see if they could pass the US Citizenship test that is offered to immigrants today wishing to become US Citizens.

Preparing for the Oath is a great online quiz offered by the National Museum of US History.

iCivics has lots of great educational games about Government, and Immigration Nation is another great game for students to learn about the process of immigration today. This is a good way to introduce students to the process of immigration today. Have students play the game and use a collaborate tool like TodaysMeetPadlet, or Socrative for students to share what they have learned.

The Immigration Experience Project

During this unit we look at Immigration generally throughout US History, but our primary focus is on the large influx of immigrants who came toward the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Students create a "fictional" immigrant that can be based on their own family immigration story and create a Digital Scrap Book of their experience.

Students can create their Scrapbook using iMovie, Keynote, ComicLife, and something I am hoping to try new this year is letting students create an eBook with iBooks Author.

Here is an iMovie Immigration Experience Project from a former student.

Students use some information from our textbooks, but here are some other great tools to help students get an understanding of the immigrants experience coming to the US.

Scholasitc: Immigration - Stories Of Yesterday And Day
This website from scholastic has a treasure trove of interactives and resources for you and your students to explore. Visit the Virtual Field Trip which is a short video that is full of information about the History of Ellis Island and the immigrants who passed through this check point. You will follow an immigrants journey through Explore Ellis Island.  You can also take a in depth look at some of the different places that immigrants went through in their journey to America. The website also has some really good graphs to help you Explore Immigration Numbers for you and your students to examine historical immigration trends.  The site also has Meet Young Immigrants of today to help students see how immigration still impacts the United States Today. Although the site is directed more towards Elementary age students, Middle School students can still get a lot of information from this website.

Tenement Museum Interactive Experience: This is a great website to lets students take the role of an immigrant and they have to make certain choices on their way to the US. There is lots of great information and videos that go with this site. Once the student has successfully immigrated, there is also a great 360 Virtual tour of life in a tenement in New York that students can explore. 

Ellis Island: Interactive Than and Now  This interactive from the History Channel is a neat picture that looks at how Ellis Island looks today and what it looked like in the early 1900's. The History Channel also has some pretty good short video segments like Ellis Island Medical Inspections Video that are good informational videos for students to watch to learn about Immigration on Ellis Island. 

Immigration from the Library of Congress. Has detailed information about several ethnic groups journey to the US.

immigration: The living mosaic of people: Is a study created website for a project and has lots of good information about a wide variety of immigrant groups.

What are some resources you use for helping students learn about US Immigration? I would love to hear about them in the comments section below. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Extra Extra.....Using Newspapers In the Classroom

Extra Extra..Read All About It!!!

"Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted in their own government" -Thomas Jefferson.

Using current events in the classroom is a cornerstone of teaching Social Studies. Whenever I am able I always try to incorporate local,  national, and international news into my class discussions. Below are some of my favorite resources I use with looking for current events, using archived newspapers as a primary source, and project resources for students to create their very own newspapers.

Current Events
Here are some of my favorite websites for Current Events I use to help enhance classroom discussions with my students.

Newsuem Front Pages
I had an opportunity last April to visit this Museum in Washington DC and it didn't disappoint. Their website is also a great treasure trove for news and lesson resources for teachers. Check out today's Front Pages from Newspapers from around the World. A great way to look at how different regions or countries report on the same event as a way of discussing "Point of View".

Newspaper Map
This neat little website lets you explore various online websites for various papers from around the world. Using a map of the World, you can find many different news websites for various countries.

CNN Student News
If you are looking for a video recap of some of the major news of the day, CNN Student News is a great way to introduce students to news topics and current events.

Flocabulary: The Week In Rap
This subscription service (Currently $63 a year) is a very fun and informative news video recap of the week's major story. If you spend your Friday's in class looking at Current Events, this is definitely a subscription worth looking into.

10X 10 - 100 Words and Pictures that Define the Time
This website gathers news from ABC, BBC, CNN, The Guardian, MSNBC, and Reuters and creates a 10 X 10 Picture Block of some of the major news happening right now. Click on the image or the side words to view the headlines and links to the articles.

Newspaper Archives

Sinking of the Titanic
If your state has adopted the Common Core Standards, or you just enjoy using Primary Source Material in your classroom you know that finding and using Primary Source Material is an important part of curriculum planning (See my earlier post Getting Started with Primary Sources). Luckily, there are lots of newspapers that have been archived and made available online. Using archived newspapers can be a great way for students to see how people of the time period reacted to these historic events.

For some of these databases it might be good for you as a teacher to pull a selection of samples to use, but showing students some of the basics of how the search works can help them find some valuable resources as well.

Library of Congress Chronicling America
A searchable database of many national Newspapers from 1836-1922, or check out the US Newspaper Directory that is also a searchable database for newspapers from 1690 to present.

TimesMachine-The NewYork Times
The New York Times has been referred to as the "Nation's Paper of Record." You can search through their extensive database of archived papers from the 1850s' to the 1920's.

Google News Archives
Google also has a very extensive search engine of archived newspapers from around the world. This is a great tool to find archived local newspapers to get some local history or local reaction to a historical event or having students examine advertisements from different time periods.

Newseum Digital Classroom (Create a Free Account)
As I mentioned earlier, the Newseum Website also has several online primary source materials you can use. You will have to create a free account, but once you do you will be able to explore these three Newspaper Lessons:  (1) Blood and Ink: Front Pages of the Civil War, (2) Emancipation Proclamation Front Pages Lincoln and Horace Greeley, & (3) Marching for Women's Rights

Create a Paper

Not only is it great to use Newspapers in the classroom, but by having students create their own newspapers can help you create Formative or Summative Assessment opportunities to gage student understanding of historical events. Having students summarize the Who, What, When, Where, & What of an event is great writing practice and an authentic way to measure student understanding of an event. Here are three resources to help students create that perfect Newspaper feel.

Newspaper Clip Generator:
This online web generator is a nifty little way for students to create a short newspaper article. Perfect for a formative assessment of student understanding of an era/event you have been discussing in class.

Printing Press: From Read Write Think
Stop the Presses!!! Here is a nice little Online Printing Press tool from ReadWriteThink that lets students create Newspapers, Brochures, Flyer/Sign, or Posters. They give you some nice templates that you can use and there is also a save option that allows you to save your work to your computer so you can come back to the website to continue your work.

Newspaper PowerPoint Templates
I wish I could say I came up with this, but PresentationMagazine has put together some nice PowerPoint Templates of different Newspaper layouts and have also recently added a Magazine Cover. These templates are very well put together and easy for students to use. It makes for a nice looking final Newspaper layout where students can write several articles summarizing what they have learned from their research on a particular event or topic.

How to Choose Your News- TED-ED Video

What do you use?

I'm always looking for additional resources to try with my students and would love to hear from you in my comments section of resources that you use that work great with students when it comes to using newspapers in your classroom.