Writing Prompts/Journal Posts
Here is a great site that has a bunch of prompts that you might find helpful for your classroom. CanTeach has a long list of possible questions to ask your students. I have found writing prompts to be wonderfully helpful in getting my students to think outside of the standard curriculum and have led to great discussions in class. If you are looking for a digital place for students to write their responses, KidBlog is an excellent (free) site that I have used in the past that is perfect for all ages. It does not require students to have an email and teachers can lock it up so only students and teachers can see it if they want. Digital writing is an important skill to learn and combining prompts and blogging is a great way to help students become more comfortable with it.
Eyewitness to History
Eyewitness to History is a great site that brings together stories and media to tell a complete story of historical events that occurred around the world. The site offers links to famous speeches and photos of important events throughout history. Students can here Charles Lindbergh speak after his historic flight or listen to a reporter describe the invasion of Normandy as he witnessed it live offshore. You can also show students the first narrative film The Great Train Robbery to give them a sense of how far things have come in film. There are pictures galore that could make great additions to class for writing prompts or presentations.
The pictures are interactive as well. If you click on certain parts of the picture, it will take you to another story that provides a rich background to the photo and the time period. This is a great site for students and teachers to make history a little more hands on and visual.
Here is a great site from the University of Colorado that can give some students a chance to try experiments at home without destroying their house. Here is a quick snapshot of what they have to offer.
The site offers great simulations for students of all ages who might need a different way to look at a concepts being covered in class. Take a look at these and share your favorites with other teachers in your building.
Thanks for taking the time to read the post and feel free to drop me a line if you have questions or want to share something you use with everyone else.
Give it a try!