Through some of my coursework here at Luther, I was turned on to a great online resource from the Teachers’ Curriculum Institute called “History Alive!.” As I considered the implications on the classroom brought about by a program like this, I wanted to simply discuss the idea of shared curriculum, online resources, and adapting this work to fit your own classroom. Were I on a curriculum team, I would certainly encourage the use of shared resources like “History Alive!” because of the sheer wealth of information out there! The specific unit I looked at, on U.S. History: Beginnings through Industrialism, outlined games, classroom activities, assigned reading, and provided teacher resources that included “editable” presentations and SMARTboard activities! The interface looked something like this:
A program like this goes above and beyond what we, as teachers, could create with a few “preps.” This is why learning to borrow, cite, utilize, and collaborate with others’ work is so imperative in the field of education. This site is a great place to start.
Lest I stray from my “gut,” though, I must clarify. As an inspired future educator, and someone even looking toward administration, I love nothing more than authentic, creative, immersive, experiential, and original material generated by teachers for their own uses. Some of the best teachers that I have learned from in MY time as a student are those that take a text and simply create. These are the types of teachers I would love to hire and the type of teacher I want to be. That being said, it’s often unrealistic to think that this can be done for multiple subjects, every day, for the entirety of a school year. This is why we need to search for phenomenal resources that can create equally meaningful learning experiences, and why, as a fictional curriculum director, I would recommend “History Alive!” in my district.
I would really encourage you to click below and take the free 30 day trial in the “program” that most closely relates to your content area…explore, edit, create, utilize, and share. If nothing else, maybe this can “spark” some of that ever-so-meaningful creation of your own! How can you make history come alive for your students?