Hello again, everyone! With all the historic events this past week, I decided to shape my list around some of my favorite online sources to help you engage your students in social studies and related topics.
Flocabulary (www.flocabulary.com): This is one of my favorite Web sites! Flocabulary is the brainchild of two gifted young men who put writing to music. They create hip hop music to promote literacy — everything from Shakespeare to hip hop history, math raps, and more. They also teach teachers and students how to do this themselves, so if you ever get a chance to learn from them, grab the opportunity!
Teaching Tolerance (www.teachingtolerance.org): This site has free standards-based lesson plans for teachers that focus on developing caring, responsible citizens through exploring past and current events that face our nation and world. Most of the plans are multi-sensory and quite engaging! Their online newsletter is free. Many teaching kits are also offered at no charge.
The White House (http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact): Students can send questions, comments, and well-wishes to the President at this Web site. It also has a slide show of the Presidents and facts about the White House for all ages.
Scholastic (http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/home.jsp): Scholastic offers current news online accompanied by pictures. The site includes President Obama’s complete inaugural address, inauguration highlights, related videos, blogs about this historic event by grade level, a slide show of presidential portraits, and more. One of the many helpful features on this site is a “word wizard.” If a reader doesn’t know a word in an article, he or she can click on it twice to get a definition.
There are many resources and student activities for all teachers. One example is a section about books and authors that highlights an author through video each month. Books are shared in a variety of interactive ways. Check it out! This Web site also includes many teaching strategies for students with disabilities, English Language Learners, and students with gifts and talents.
These are just a few of the many Web sites that can make social studies come alive. Please feel free to add to this list!
This week I’d like to close with some the lyrics to one of my favorite songs, “Every Child’s a Star” by a wonderful Irish balladeer and friend of CEC, Danny O’Flaherty:
Each milestone is a victory,
Every child’s a star.
Each is born a miracle just the way they are
And everyone can understand the meaning of a smile.
Around the world, a hug means love
To every single child.
You can listen to this beautiful song for free at http://payplay.fm/oflaherty3.
Hugs to you as we continue this important work,