Wednesday, September 14, 2016

History Blurbs

If you are new to reading this blog, you should know that I am a HUGE believer in teacher professional development.  And by that, I mean I think teachers should seek out professional development that works for them.  One of the most powerful things for a teacher is to connect with other teachers who teach the same subject, scope and sequence, and topics.  Just having a conversation with other educators can have you walking away smarter and with ideas that are good for your students.

Today was another one of those days for me.

I have been part of a Social Studies Study Group made up of 20-40 other social studies teachers (many middle school, but we are growing and adding more high school teachers each year).  We get together four times each school year.  I always walk away smarter, with ideas I can implement tomorrow.

Today I was made smarter thanks to a conversation middle school teacher, Mike Sabala.  We were talking at our tables about different things we do in our class and he mentioned that he has his students complete "blurbs."

Now that sounds interesting...

It is.

Mike has his students fill out "History Blurbs" on the important people and topics in his class.  A blurb is...

  1. The name of the event/person/topic
  2. A definition/description 
  3. A simple illustration
  4. Three facts about it
  5. See Also:  Connect the topic to at least two other people, places, or things that are connected to this event in some way and NOT already mentioned in the above description or facts.  I LOVE THIS ONE!
Awesome!

So I did what I do best... I took his idea, added my own little twist, and came up with this...

I love that this requires students to think just a little deeper about something we learned in class and asks them to make connections to other events.  A simple way for students to keep a record of the information they learn as well as rank how well they feel they understand it.  This might just become a regular thing in my class.

Bonus!  This technique would be very easy to adapt for all content areas and age groups.  Thanks Mike for making me smarter today!

1 comment:

  1. Jill, I like this idea too! Thanks for sharing. Wished I lived closer and I would love to join your group and share ideas. I teach High School History in IL. I agree this could be used across different subjects.

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