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Online Resource: DocsTeach from the National Archives

28 Jul

Screen Shot 2014-07-26 at 4.18.36 PMPrimary source documents are essential pieces of the history puzzle to include in your social studies instruction.  I’ve shared some great iPad apps for accessing primary sources but there are a few websites that contain quality content that can be easily shared with your students.

DocsTeach has a fantastic website (in addition to their iOS and Android apps) that give teachers tons of resources for finding and using primary source documents in their classroom.  If you’re not a social studies teacher you can still find compelling images to bring into your English Language Arts instruction or make connections during a math and science lesson.


Online Resource: LIFE Photo Archive

11 Jul

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 11.45.23 PMPrimary source documents, especially photographs, are powerful tools for grabbing the attention of students.  Sometimes it’s challenging to find the right picture to connect to a historical fiction literature circle or to support a Social Studies lesson.  I’m a big fan of Google Image searches but another option is to check out the LIFE photo archive hosted by Google.  You can search over a hundred years worth of photographs by typing in a keyword or choosing a specific event or time period.  This is a terrific resource for teachers who work with students of any age!

Looking to explore primary source documents with your students?  Check out this lesson plan!


Healthy Recipes and Soccer Fun

22 Jun

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.26.27 PMEScreen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.26.17 PMat for Goals from the World Heart Federation is a fun app that is full of great information.  In addition to giving kids the chance to flick a soccer ball to score a goal, it has tons of extra features. Kids can read about famous soccer players from around the world and hear about their favorite foods and recipes.  Each player has a signature healthy dish they share that includes easy directions. A great extension activity during a unit on healthy eating!

Here’s some of my favorite lessons for exploring healthy choices with students:

Explore the Underground Railroad on iPads

8 Jun

Screen Shot 2014-06-07 at 9.45.53 AM National Geographic has tons of fantastic apps and The Underground Railroad: Journey to Freedom is a great choice for upper elementary and middle school students.  This interactive app introduces children to the Underground Railroad by placing them in first person experiences.  They’ll have to make decisions on how to proceed from on step to the next while they learn about this period in history.

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Here are a few other National Geographic apps that might fit into your curriculum:

Geography Exploration with StrataLogica

4 Jun

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 9.57.11 AMimage-1Geography is an important part of any grade’s Social Studies curriculum and StrataLogica can help students explore the globe.  With information layered on top of maps and diagrams, there is tons of content to dig into.  You can skip logging in and explore the app without an account if you wish.  Not only will this free app help you teach children important map skills, it’s full of useful information for both educators and their students.

Explore more Social Studies topics with my QR Scanner Scavenger hunts!

Access a Museum Collection from Your Web Browser

2 Jun

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 8.22.09 AMI’ve shared tons of resources to bring museums to your students’ fingertips (AMNH, MOMA) and here is another to add to the list.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art has given the public access to almost 400,000 items in their collection!  Some of the artwork and artifacts are currently on display while others in this online resource are packed away in storage.

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You can connect these items to a Social Studies unit or simply use a piece of artwork as inspiration for a writing assignment.  Whether you decide to check out this fantastic resource during a unit on poetry or to enhance a biography, there are tons of primary sources and beautiful artwork to share with students of all ages!


Here are a few lesson plans for teaching with primary source documents!





Cosmos – Explore Space on iPads

1 Jun
 Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 5.51.00 PMimage-3Whether you tuned in for this multi-part television series or are simply looking for science resources for your class, Cosmos A Spacetime Odyssey is a great app for teachers.  There are articles and clips from the program that may just fit into your curriculum or connect to a book you are reading to your students.  The index makes it very easy to search for content.  This app is completely free and contains high quality graphics.
Looking to explore informational text with your students? Check out one of my QR Scanner Scavenger Hunts!
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