The end-of-the-year “Best” lists continue.
I’m adding this one to ALL END-OF-YEAR “BEST” LISTS FOR 2020 IN ONE PLACE!
You can see all previous Social Studies lists here.
Here picks for this year:
Rank Country is a very impressive – and I mean very impressive – new tool for comparing demographic data from different countries.
Here’s how they describe themselves:
Research country data as never before.
Powerfully insightful world maps and country list data visualizations.
Search thousands of country-based indicators across all categories of the built and natural world.
Interactively overlay maps and refine segment selections for a targeted final list of countries relevant to your unique needs.
I’m adding it to The Best Tools For Comparing Demographics Of Different Countries.
Here’s how the Crash Course site describes this video:
At the end of our journey through modern European history, we’re taking an episode to look back at how the practice of history developed and what the aim and goals and purpose of history have been. We’ll also take time to consider how we should approach history research and writing going forward.
Of course, since it’s part of their European History course, it is pretty Eurocentric. Nonetheless, it’s still pretty interesting.
I’m adding it to:
It provides links to virtual content created by museums, galleries, aquariums and zoos around the world.
It’s obviously not as exhaustive as Google Arts and Culture, but it seemed to me to have a number of places that you can find at the Google site.
I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Finding And Creating Virtual Field Trips.
Sal Khan did a pretty good interview with Nikole Hannah-Jones on The 1619 Project.
I’m adding it to:
“Teach students to question. Every time you’re exposed to a narrative you’ve never heard before, you don’t have to believe that narrative, but it should cause you to question – what am I not being taught?” – @nhannahjones pic.twitter.com/ytmjrDkdP0
— Khan Academy (@khanacademy) July 30, 2020
The United Nations has declared that August 9th is The International Day Of The World’s Indigenous People. You can find a ton of related resources at The Best Sites For International Day Of The World’s Indigenous People. Google has unveiled a great addition to that list! NIRIN: Art From the Edge is a virtual exhibit of “contemporary art from around the globe in a First Nations-led exhibition.”
Here’s how Google describes it:
In March 2020, the 22nd Biennale of Sydney opened to wide acclaim—only to close after 10 days because of COVID-19. The Biennale has since physically reopened to limited audiences, but now, through a virtual exhibit on Google Arts & Culture, people all over the world can experience it.
This year’s Biennale is led by First Nations artists, and showcases work from marginalized communities around the world, under the artistic direction of the Indigenous Australian artist, Brook Andrew. It’s titled NIRIN—meaning “edge”—a word of Brook’s mother’s Nation, the Wiradjuri people of western New South Wales.
Google unveiled “It’s A Wonderful World,” a Google Arts and Culture selection of the most iconic places to visit around the world. You can read more about it here. In addition, they provide video instructions about how to create a video travelogue showing your own virtual travels throughout the world. Unfortunately, it requires using Google Meet which, for inexplicable reasons, our district blocks our students from using:
Here’s a cool new tool from Google about ancient Egyptian languages:
…thanks to the new Google Arts & Culture tool Fabricius, anyone can interactively discover this fascinating language by means of three dedicated gateways: First, you can “Learn” about the language of ancient Egypt by following a short educational introduction in six easy steps. Secondly, Fabricius invites you to “Play” and translate your own words and messages into hieroglyphics ready to be shared with your friends and family.
I’m adding to tour class world history blog with other ancient Egyptian resources.
TIME Magazine often asks a bunch of historians questions like “Who were the most influential Americans?” or “Who were the 100 most significant figures in history?” You can find links to all them at The Best “Lists Of Lists” Of Influential People, Events & Ideas. I use them as models when I have my students answer similar questions in class. Earlier this summer, TIME shared the answers to a different question: 21 Lessons From America’s Worst Moments. And, this time, it looks like they have made an attempt to get a more diverse group of historians to answer their question than in the past. You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Using “Object Lessons” In History.
I learned that the EduHam at Home program, a free version of the program the show and the Gilder Lehrman Institute does in-person with students, has been released.
What should you expect from this free program?
- A personal welcome video from Lin-Manuel Miranda greeting participants, as well as tips and guidance from EduHam teachers to help students create their own work
- Video highlights from past student performances for examples of what to try at home
- A wealth of free materials for participants and their families to explore and enjoy, including
- Videos clips from Hamilton and interviews with Lin-Manuel Miranda, selected cast members, and Ron Chernow, whose biography of Alexander Hamilton inspired the musical
- A wide selection of primary sources centered on a diverse group of 45 People, 14 Events, and 24 Key Documents
EduHam at Home participants will be invited to submit their own Hamilton-inspired pieces (songs, raps, spoken-word poems, or scenes), and selected student performances will be shared on social media and this website.
You can read more about it at Rejoice, ‘Hamilton’ fans: Lin-Manuel Miranda makes his student program free online.
I’m adding this info to The Best Teaching/Learning Resources On The Musical, “Hamilton”
Some believe that it’s important for teachers to provide complete “objectivity” in the classroom, and treat both sides of events and beliefs equally.
I believe that it is important to understand both sides of issues – as the old community organizing adage goes, “we live in the world as it is, not as we would like it to be.” So, understanding different perspectives is important for a variety of reasons, including for knowing what it might take to encourage people to potentially change them and for grasping what conditions might have led people to those beliefs so that they aren’t repeated.
But there are many situations where though we might want students to understand both sides, we must be clear when one is absolutely wrong.
A Reckoning Over Objectivity, Led by Black Journalists is a column by Wesley Lowery that clarifies this critical point. Though it’s directed at journalists, it’s pretty easy to just replace the word “journalist” in it with “teacher.”
Of course, Why “Both Sides” of a Story Aren’t Enough from Teaching Tolerance has also made this point very clearly and directly about educators in the classroom.
I’m adding this post to The Best Posts & Articles On How To Teach “Controversial” Topics.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture unveiled a new site called Talking About Race.
It looks very impressive, and includes a wealth of resources for specific use by educators.
Here’s how they describe it:
“The portal offers a wealth of resources to inform and guide discussions—videos, role-playing exercises, targeted questions and more, said Crew.” “We hope that people will use this site to become more comfortable about engaging in honest dialogue and self-reflection.”
Talking About Race builds upon decades of work by the museum’s educators. It is the result of extensive research, studies, consultations, and educational resources from these fields: history, education, psychology and human development. It includes published research from leading experts, activists, historians, and thought leaders on race, equity, and inclusion, including Brené Brown, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Robin DiAngelo, Julie Olsen Edwards, Jerry Kang, Ibram X Kendi, Enid Lee, Audre Lorde, Beverly Daniel Tatum, Bishop Desmond Tutu, and Tim Wise.
I’m adding this info to New & Revised: A Collection Of Advice On Talking To Students About Race & Racism.
Acclaimed director Ava DuVernay unveiled a new site that will contain lessons to to ultimately accompany all her films. The first is is a “learning companion” for When They See Us, her Netflix film about five young African American men who were wrongly convicted of rape. It also includes an impressive lesson to help students identify media bias today. You can learn about the site at this Fast Company article and at the video embedded below. I’m adding this info to The Best Sites To Teach About African-American History. You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Teaching About Selma.
National Museum of American History has a lot of very impressive lesson plans that can be used online or in the physical classroom.
The New York Times’ 1619 Project has probably become the “go-to” resource for teaching about slavery in America, and USEFUL RESOURCES FOR LEARNING ABOUT THE 400TH ANNIVERSARY OF BRINGING ENSLAVED AFRICANS TO AMERICA is filled with related resources.
The ACLU of Northern California has now developed a fabulous resource that would be a great companion to the 1619 Project for any class in our state.
Gold Chains: The Hidden History of Slavery in California has a ton of resources. Here is how they describe the site:
The mission of Gold Chains: The Hidden History of Slavery in California is to expose and explore chapters of California history that will come as a surprise, if not outright shock, to many people. In the process, we aim to lift up the voices of courageous African American and Native American individuals who challenged their brutal treatment and demanded their civil rights, inspiring us with their ingenuity, resilience, and tenacity.
We seek to expose the role of the courts, laws, and the tacit acceptance of white supremacy in sanctioning race-based violence and discrimination that continues into the present day. Through an unflinching examination of our collective past, we invite California to become truly aware and authentically enlightened.
You might also be interested in California’s Forgotten Slave History from The L.A. Times,
The Exercise Book Archive is an online archive of children’s notebooks from around the world.
Some are actual “exercise” notebooks, with pre-printed exercises designed to help children learn, and containing their completed notes and doodles. Others were blank notebooks that were used by teacher-created exercised filled-in by students.
Many are translated, as well as being transcribed.
I’m adding this info to The Best Sites For Learning About The World’s Different Cultures.
I’m also adding it to The Best Resources To Learn About World Teachers Day because that list includes many resources on education history.
Two States. Eight Textbooks. Two American Stories. is a new New York Times interactive comparing textbooks used in California and in Texas, and how they talk about the same topics.
There are a number of similar resources in The Best Tools To Help Develop Global Media Literacy, but those compare perspectives in different countries. This Times piece is particularly interesting because it compares them across states.
I use the international comparisons when we learn about history in my IB Theory of Knowledge classes.
This new domestic comparison will be an important addition.
In addition to adding it to the the Global Media Literacy “Best” list, I’m also putting it on The Best Websites For Teaching & Learning About U.S. History one.
Sacred Places, Sacred Ways: Five great religions, five revered spaces is a new interactive map.
I’m adding it to The Best Websites To Learn About Various Religions & English.
Many of us are familiar with UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts.
You can check them all out in neat interactives here.
I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning About The World’s Different Cultures.
The National Archives has a collection of eighteen different sheets that can be used by students for analyzing primary sources, including versions specifically made for use with ELLs.
The worksheets could also be used with non-primary sources, and include ones targeting maps, documents and photos.
I’m adding them to The Best Resources For Using Primary Sources.
The Stanford History Education Group is on a bunch of “Best” lists, including The Best Places To Find Free (And Good) Lesson Plans On The Internet. They offer amazing history lessons.
This year, they unveiled a new curriculum on information literacy called Civic Online Reasoning, and it looks fantastic.
Here’s how they describe it:
Students are confused about how to evaluate online information. We all are. The new Civic Online Reasoning (COR) curriculum, developed by the Stanford History Education Group, provides free lessons and assessments that help you teach students to evaluate online information that affects them, their communities, and the world.
Our approach rests on our peer-reviewed research. Based on observations of professional fact checkers at the nation’s leading news outlets, we identified a set of questions and strategies that should guide online evaluation: Who’s behind the information? What’s the evidence? What do other sources say?
The Massacre Of Black Wall Street is a short online graphic novel The Watchmen television show did with the Atlantic marketing team.
As fans of the show know, the Tulsa massacre opens the series and is a driving theme throughout its episodes.
I’ve embedded several videos about the massacre below.
I’m adding this post to The Best Sites To Teach About African-American History.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum Of American History has released a five unit curriculum on U.S. migration and immigration history called Becoming US (click on “Units and Case Studies” at the top).
Here’s how they describe it:
Becoming US is a new educational resource for high school teachers and students to learn immigration and migration history in a more accurate and inclusive way.
The people of North America came from many cultures and spoke different languages long before the founding of the United States, even before European contact. At the center of Becoming US is the understanding that some people were already in the land that is today the United States, some people were brought against their will, some people came voluntarily, and some people never moved but became part of the United States as its border expanded to include them.
I’m adding it to:
Last year, I shared a very impressive Google resource highlighting fifty-five indigenous languages from around the world (see Google Creates Interactive On Indigenous Languages).
This year, they unveiled what looks to me to be an impressive lesson plan on indigenous languages: Exploring Indigenous Language Vitality.
In addition, they are “exploring the option to expand the story with additional Indigenous languages and speakers in the future.” Interested people can submit info here.
I think the lesson plan is excellent, their August interactive is a good one, and the idea to expand it is great. I just hope that the invitation to people to contribute is just one part, though, of a pro-active effort by them to reach out to more speakers of indigenous languages. It’s not like it would be that difficult to identify them since so many others are doing that work.
You can read more about this project here.
I’m adding this info to:
Thanks to Christina Cabal’s blog (which is on the The Top Blogs and Resource Sites For Teachers Of English Language Learners list), I’ve learned about a new site called Learn With News.
It provides articles about current events, which each one having three versions at different lexile levels.
They also provide questions for each article. However, they are not interactive online, so you would need to either print them out or project them.
The site also says they will soon be adding audio support for the text.
I’m adding this info The Best Places To Get The “Same” Text Written For Different “Levels”
Kid Citizen is a free site designed for students to learn with primary sources.
It says its focus is K-5, but I think it could be useful with older students, too, – particularly English Language Learners.
It’s filled with interactive videos and, on top of that, teachers can also create their own interactives, share them with students, and monitor student progress through a sort of virtual classroom.
I’m adding it to:
Google has unveiled a Exploring the Maya World interactive with the British Museum.
You can read all about it here, and watch the video below.
I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Maya.