Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

May 8, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources For Using Primary Sources


I’m not sure that the resources on this list are really the “Best,” but they are the ones that I’ve shared in the past related to using primary sources in lessons. Feel free to share additional suggestions. I just thought it would be useful to me, and to others, to bring them all together in one place:

The Best Sites For Learning About The Constitution Of The United States

The Best Resources For “Bill Of Rights Day”

The Best Sites For Learning About Historic Maps

The Best Historical Photo + Video Map-Based Sites

The Best Displays Of Just-Released New York City Historical Photos

The Best Resources For Teaching “What If?” History Lessons

Primary Source Sets come from the Digital Public Library of America. Here’s how they describe them:

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop critical thinking skills by exploring topics in history, literature, and culture through primary sources. Drawing online materials from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States, the sets use letters, photographs, posters, oral histories, video clips, sheet music, and more. Each set includes a topic overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide.

Primary Sources, the Library of Congress and English Learners is from Colorin Colorado.

I’ve previously written a lot about how much I like SAS Curriculum Pathways, a free site with tons of interactive lessons that students can complete and then email to their teacher. It’s recently gotten even better….They unveiled a big upgrade to the design of their site, and it looks great. Secondly, they have a nice new feature called Explore Primary Sources, which provides lots of creative lessons for students to access…primary sources.

Here’s an interactive tutorial for AP History teachers on using close reading with primary sources.

Helping Students Grapple with Primary Sources is from Middleweb.

Reading Like A Historian is an impressive collection of almost ninety U.S. and World History lessons from The Stanford History Education Group. Here’s how they describe the lessons:

The Reading Like a Historian curriculum engages students in historical inquiry. Each lesson revolves around a central historical question and features sets of primary documents designed for groups of students with diverse reading skills and abilities.

This curriculum teaches students how to investigate historical questions by employing reading strategies such as sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating, and close reading. Instead of memorizing historical facts, students evaluate the trustworthiness of multiple perspectives on historical issues. They learn to make historical claims backed by documentary evidence.

They look good to me. You have to register to gain access to them (though you can get a “quick view” of them without registering), but registering is a pretty painless process. The same organization also sponsors Beyond The Bubble, a history assessment site that I havepreviously posted about

The Victorians: Learn to work like a historian is a site from The National Archives of the United Kingdom. With a very accessible video guide, you….work like a historian investigating multiple artifacts and take notes in an online notebook. You can then save or print-out your notes.  I was particularly impress by its simple, yet sophisticated, instructional guidelines, which can be easily used away from the site on just about any photo or artifact — historical or not — as a tool for higher-order thinking.  The site uses the acronym “LACE”:





In other words, it goes something like this:

Look: Describe what you see

Ask: What questions do you need to ask, and answer to make sense of what you have seen?

Conclude: What do the things you have discovered from this source tell about what it was like to be…….

Expand: What more would you like to know? How can you find out?

Docs Teach from the U.S. National Archives lets you easily create online activities using primary sources. Plus, you can access the interactives that others have created, too. It’s super-easy to register. Creating the interactives is not as intuitive as I would like, but it’s still pretty easy.

“The Digital Vaults” is an entry into the vast resources of the National Archives, and allows you to use those resources to create your own movies, posters, and what it calls “Pathway Challenges” to… challenge others to find connections between a series of images, documents, and other resources you put together.

Analyzing Primary Sources: Learning from Images is from The Barat Education Foundation. I’m adding it to The Best Ways To Use Photos In Lessons.

Blogging History: Interpreting Civil War-Era Primary Sources is from The New York Times Learning Network.

Historical Scene Investigation

Check out Zoom-In — you can read my post about it.

May 7, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best “Fair Isn’t Equal” Visualizations

Everyone has seen versions of this graphic, and I have not idea who the original creator(s) are. But they are useful, and I thought I’d bring together variations I’ve seen online and invite readers to contribute others, as well as letting me know the names of the original artists.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources On Differentiating Instruction 

April 22, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Teaching & Learning Resources About Harriet Tubman


As everybody knows by know, Harriet Tubman’s image is going to replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the U.S. twenty-dollar bill.

I thought readers, and my students, would find it useful to collect related resources. I’ll be adding a link to this list to my U.S. History class blog, too.

Because of that, the resources I’ll list here first are accessible to English Language Learners. The ones near the end of the list are useful to mainstream students and to teachers:

Professor Garfield Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman Timeline

America’s Story: Harriet Tubman

Talking E-Book Biography of Tubman

9 Fascinating Facts About Harriet Tubman, the New Face of the $20 Bill is from TIME.

Langston Hughes on Harriet Tubman

thinkport Tubman interactive

Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill reminds us that access to cash is a civil rights issue is from The Washington Post.

Harriet Tubman to appear on $20 bill, while Alexander Hamilton remains on $10 bill is from The Washington Post.

You have no idea how hardcore Harriet Tubman really was is from The Washington Post.

Harriet Tubman Isn’t the First Black Woman to Appear on Currency in the U.S. is from Slate.

Five myths about Harriet Tubman is from The Washington Post.

I’m adding this list to All My “Best” Lists On Race, Racism & The Civil Rights Movement – In One Place.

April 20, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources For Learning About The Multilingual Education Act Ballot Initiative In California


Out here in California, we’ll be voting this year on an important ballot initiative this fall, the Multilingual Education Act.

It’s pretty big stuff and there seems to have been surprisingly little written about it – so far.

Here’s the best of the lot – and I’ll be adding more as I see them:

Conor Williams wrote an excellent piece for LA School Report, and it’s headlined Commentary: Why CA’s ‘Multilingual Education Act’ matters: Politics, language and Los Angeles’ future.

Why voters should end California’s limits on bilingual education is an Op-Ed in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Battle of bilingual education once again brewing in California appeared on the PBS News Hour site.

April 18, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Links For Helping Students Learn How To Write “Leads” or “Ledes”


I’m having students in my ELL World History class learn how to write “leads” or “ledes” of newspaper articles, and we’re beginning with doing them around events between the two World Wars.

Here’s what I have so far, and I hope that readers will contribute more:

How to Write a News Article: The Intro or Lede is from St. Petersburg College.

How to Write a Lead is from Purdue.

Examples – just look at the first paragraphs of the examples.

More Examples – again, just look at the first paragraphs of the stories.

Newspaper Game

BBC Newspaper Game

Newspaper Story Format from Read Write Think.

Who, What, When, Where Game

April 15, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Ways To Use Stephen Curry & The Warriors For Teaching Social Emotional Learning Skills


As regular readers know, I’m a big Golden State Warriors fan and regularly visualize myself as Stephen Curry when I’m often shooting three-pointers when I’m playing (unfortunately, the percentage of my shots that actually go in is far, far lower than Curry’s :) ).

Today, Doug Lemov spotted and shared this great “Growth Mindset” headline and article from The Washington Post, and that got me thinking it might be useful to bring all my previous posts about the Warriors and SEL skills together in one “Best” list:


Here are links to my previous posts (you also might be interested in The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources :

Check out my student interactive for English Language Learners at the New York Times Learning Network uses basketball superstar Stephen Curry to teach about similes (and the importance of practice).

“Control Your Destiny”: Positive Self-Talk, Students & Stephen Curry

The Golden State Warriors & Social Emotional Learning

Excellent Examples Of Deliberate Practice To Use With Students

Here’s A Stephen Curry Quote Teachers Can Use With Their Students!

I’m sure there will be more!

Go, Warriors!

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