Telling History’s Story through Primary Sources

By Emily R. Smith, Teacher Created Materials

Every year, I tell my students that by the end of the year they will all love social studies. One year, David, my natural-born scientist, rolled his eyes and looked at me like I was crazy. (This is the student whose history museum exhibit included mummifying a teddy bear.) […]

By |September 12th, 2017|Content Areas|1 Comment

Mining for Gold: Gold Rush-Themed Lesson Ideas That Start With Books

On January 24, 1848, gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in California, sparking one of the largest migrations in America’s history. Americans and immigrants flocked to California by the thousands, hoping to strike it rich as miners in the gold fields or as merchants selling supplies.  

Although it seems like ages ago, students can find […]

By |January 10th, 2017|Content Areas|0 Comments

Crises and Crusades: Support Content Area Literacy with These Historical Titles by Albert Marrin

Albert Marrin is a well-regarded author of juvenile nonfiction. Having penned over three dozen titles, he is not only prolific but also award-winning, and clearly dedicated to bringing history to life for his readers.

I recently spent some time with three of Marrin’s titles: A Volcano Beneath the Snow, FDR and the American Crisis and Thomas […]

By |December 30th, 2016|Content Areas|0 Comments

Using Picture Books Across Content Areas: Classroom Strategies for Grades K-5

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
~ Dyer 2009
From the very first moment we started working together as math and reading specialists, we intently focused on our respective content areas. As we planned and worked with teachers individually around reading or math lessons, we never quite saw […]

By |November 9th, 2016|Content Areas|0 Comments

Inspired By Picasso: Using Art and Literature to Teach Content Area

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. -Pablo Picasso

October 25, 2016 marks the 135th anniversary of the prolific Pablo Picasso’s birth, long ago in Spain. Picasso was a formally educated artist, trained in prestigious, elite art schools at a very young age at his father’s […]

By |October 22nd, 2016|Content Areas|0 Comments

Using the 2016 Presidential Election to Teach Literacy Skills to High School Students

The 2016 presidential election is giving people a lot to talk about. Some elections slide by without much controversy, but not this one. As an educator thinking about teaching the 2016 presidential election, I’ve had to pause. Could I successfully hide my own political views? What would conversations in my classroom look like? Would students erupt […]

By |October 20th, 2016|Content Areas|0 Comments

Sally Ride Continues to Bring Space into the Classroom

When I was in grade school, I was lucky enough to spend a week at the most magical place on earth. We loaded up the family car and headed south, not to Disney World, but to someplace even better: Space Camp. I spent the week taking a simulated trip to Mars, imagining myself on the moon in a […]

By |June 10th, 2016|Content Areas|0 Comments

Bring Holocaust Remembrance Day Alive With These Riveting Titles

Yom HaShoah (May 4, 2016) marks the date of the Warsaw Uprising as Holocaust Remembrance Day. Yom HaShoah invites us to remember the victims of the Holocaust not just for the inhumane way they suffered and died, but for the heroic way they endured, resisted and sometimes survived—for how they lived. On this day, we […]

By |April 27th, 2016|Content Areas|0 Comments

Teaching Math Through Literature!

When I first began my career, many moons ago, I was teaching second grade. Like most new teachers, I was full of energy, trying out new techniques and strategies every week. My earliest memory of Marilyn Burns, the mathematics guru extraordinaire, was when I got my hands on The I Hate Mathematics! Book. I’m a […]

By |April 25th, 2016|Content Areas|1 Comment

Make High School History Come Alive With Paired Fiction and Nonfiction Texts

I’ve never really understood why literature and history are taught in isolation. As a student years ago, I feel that I would have been able to grasp more than dates and names in history class if I could have read about how the events affected the people and the culture of the given time period. […]

By |February 5th, 2016|Content Areas|4 Comments