Instead of using a "physical notebook" opt for a digital notebook. If you teach 7th Grade history, feel free to use this Digital Portfolio and modify for your class. I usually do one activity per day an an anticipatory set before I dive deeply into the topic. Click the images below for the free resources.
*If your school has access to technology, be it ipads or Chromebooks, I recommend making a digital notebook for your students. You can do it two ways:
1) Make assignments and tasks BEFORE you share out the questions and activities (this takes a lot of planning ahead, but once its done its awesome! (Then you will have it every year and you can just modify).
2) Make assignments one at a time, but students copy and paste in task (on a running google document). Therefore, with this option it gives you a lot of flexibility and can make more of a dynamic living document (It does take a couple minutes to copy and paste activities from a MASTER copy, that you have posted on google classroom or CANVAS).
Take a look at what can be included in a Digital Notebook...I will post more ideas and sample notebooks in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned! (Click the image to make a copy of the document) All resources are FREE!
Online Interactive Worksheet for students
Students need to practice investigating historical questions and learn about the strengths and weaknesses of online sources. This quick lesson with help them do both! This would be great for 8th grade history when you examine the early Colonies, but it can be used in ELA class as well.
Pose the question: what happens at Thanksgiving? Discuss. Pose the question: "Did the 'real' thanksgiving actually happen?"
Assign the document (via google classroom or Canvas or share out on google documents. Have students make a copy of assignment). Students click the links to various articles online and investigate the strengths and weaknesses of each source as well as evidence if it actually took place or not.
Extension: Assign the SHEG assessment on the first thanksgiving for an additional sourcing assessment. Play the video before to scaffold the assignment or after for your advanced classes (3 minutes long).
Click the image below to get a free copy of the assignment.
Consider using digital journals
A few years ago I switched from paper journals to an online History Notebook. I developed a journal system that investigates the "Hidden Histories" of people that are rarely mentioned in the textbook or marginalized in society.
The “Hidden History Journal” allows students to practice the new skills they have learned, uncover “histories” (narratives) that are marginalized or forgotten (women, the poor, children, enslaved people, religious and ethic minorities, and conquered people). Students will also be asked questions that relate to their own life and lived experience, thus legitimizing the learner and sustaining motivation.
Click the image below for a link to a free Hidden History Journal Google Document. I start the year off with this Journal and have students complete a little at a time. You can make a copy of the document (go to "File" and then "Make a copy") so you can tailor it to your class's needs. If your students do not have access to technology, you can print the document or you can post on the board or projector and they write down the answer on paper. This would be suitable for all history classes: grades 6-12.
I am passionate about history and am an education enthusiast.