Interpreting history can seem like a daunting task for students, but with a few creative tools and ideas, teachers can bring historical events and people to life. I love providing students with an interconnection to the people who shaped our country. Our history is on-going and by studying our past, we can hopefully learn from our successes and mistakes to better shape the future!
If you are looking for a quick way to add a little pizzazz to your U.S. History lessons, check out the resources below!
Souvenir Great State Plates!
Cindy from SensationalSocialStudies.blogspot.com assigned her students a random US state by drawing names from a hat. They then completed a research assignment using the Atlas, the Internet and other resources to find specific facts about their state. They also used the paper plate as a canvas to creatively display their research. You can find more information here!
This video features a fast-motion screen capture of an interactive powerpoint from the US History PowerPoint Bundle. These teaching resources are quite the virtual experience! The United States History PowerPoints can be used as powerful classroom presentations or students can click their way through them. The United States History PowerPoint Bundle contains the following units: Ancient & Native Americans, Early Explorers & Trade Routes, Relations Between the Colonists & Native Americans, The 13 Colonies, American Revolution and Events Leading up to the War, The Declaration of Independence & American Revolution, The Articles of Confederation - Constitutional Convention - and the Constitution.
Native American Artwork
While studying early American History, my students learned about the Native American Nations of the Northwest. Several tribes, including the Tlingit, carved elaborate totem poles from cedar trees as an emblem of their family-clan. It was once an important part of the Potlatch ceremony, a gift giving feast practiced by the Pacific Northwest tribes. Ms. Collins, an art educator and blogger from My Adventures in Positive Space, assigned her students to build their totem poles out of paper towel cardboard tubes. They drew each image in sharpie and added more color with cray pas. To discover more about the totem pole project, click here
United States History Interactive Notebooks
5th grade students love these interactive notebooks for our Social Studies / Early United States History curriculum. This resource is actually aligned with the US History Interactive PowerPoint Bundle. I would highly recommend using these interactive PowerPoints along with the notebooks but it is optional. The notebooks are a stand-alone resource. Materials include: Interactive notebook covers for each of the 7 units, reading passages, answer keys, critical thinking and analysis questions, flaps, foldables, timelines, graphic organizers, and more.
Illustrated Timeline Posters
I am in love with this poster idea that SensationalSocialStudies.blogspot.com shared on facebook! Her students are learning about the events leading up the the Revolutionary War. This timeline allows her students to illustrate and compile the major events in chronological order.
Do you have any creative activities that you do with your students while teaching United States history? Share in the comments section below!