Enter to Win a $10 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

TPT is having a big sale this week, and I have a promotional $10 gift card to give away!  Just fill out the contact form in this post (which will add you to my e-mail list), and I’ll enter you in my drawing!  (Don’t worry, I won’t share or sell your e-mail.)  The TPT sale takes place on February 14th and 15th.  I’ll draw from the entries by 3:00 p.m. EST on the 15th and e-mail you the gift card code if you’ve won!  Good luck!  While you are at it, check out my TPT store to see what you could get with that gift card!


Great Discussion Starter About the Cold War

If you have ever watched anything on Discovery or TLC or History Channel, at some point you’ve probably heard the fabulous voice of Mike Rowe. Among other projects, Mike has an awesome podcast called The Way I Heard It. He takes events or people that are well-known and adds a unique storytelling element to them that creates quite a bit of suspense. Most episodes are only about six minutes long, but they pack a powerful punch.

I was listening to one episode the other day, and I heard an amazingly interesting story that will definitely pique your students’ interest. You need to listen to “Episode 3: Clean Up on Aisle Four.” I don’t want to give away what or who the story is about, but this episode would be a GREAT little tidbit to add to your discussions somewhere in your unit about the Cold War. (I don’t want to get too specific or it might ruin the effect of the story.  Sorry!) If you want to skip the intro stuff, you can jump to the 40-second mark. The total story only lasts about four minutes, but that four minutes is enough to make an impact.  (The episode should be embedded below.)

Classroom Uses

  • This would be a great bell-ringer or discussion-starter to begin class.
  • You could have students listen to this and complete a free-write.
  • Use this to help your students develop better listening skills.
  • Have students complete Window Notes on the podcast to encourage students to actively listen and then process the info.  (Here’s an example of Window Notes that I used in an earlier post.  Essentially you have them divide their paper into 4 sections.  Each section deals with a reading passage or listening exercise from different learning perspectives/styles.  Can be formal or informal.)  With Window Notes, you may want to listen to the podcast twice.

Isn’t it a great story?!  If I come across any more episodes that I think would work in class, I’ll post more later!

Photo used in accordance with licensing from Clipart.com.

Great Cuban Missile Crisis Worksheets

I found a new resource today on the Cuban Missile Crisis that I really like.  It is a free packet of four worksheets covering different aspects of the situation.  The assignment at the end of each worksheet is to write an essay.  If you don’t want your students to write an essay, you can easily modify this assignment into a group or class discussion.  I really like these worksheets because it breaks down the Cuban Missile Crisis into various steps and decisions and helps students evaluate the “what-ifs” of the situation.  The packet also downloads as a Word document, which would make it very easy edit to suit your classroom needs.  This packet is part of a larger grouping of resources found here.

Create a Twitter Page for a Historical Figure

Can you imagine what it would be like if John Wilkes Booth had a Twitter page?  Or Adolf Hitler?  What would they say?  Well, now your students can have fun figuring out what these (and many more) historical figures would say on social media.  I have finished my most recent curriculum project for US History, and I’m so excited to finally put it in my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

My new product “Create a Twitter Page for a Historical Figure” includes:

  • A blank printable Twitter template for students to fill in
  • A digital Twitter template for students to complete
  • 46 assignments covering various historical figures from the colonies to Ronald Reagan
  • Detailed student and teacher instructions
  • Optional rubric
  • PowerPoint slides to display the assignment on the board
  • An example of a filled in template

In each Twitter assignment, students will have to create the following for their historical figure:

  • Basic biographical information
  • A unique, creative username
  • Up to 6 historically relevant tweets
  • Up to 3 suggestions as to who they should follow on Twitter (ties to other figures of the time period)
  • Up to 7 trends (historical relevance)
  • A small profile picture
  • A header image

Wouldn’t your students rather do something like this than complete a worksheet?  Click here to purchase or find out more!  You get 46 assignments for less than $0.18 each!  That’s 46 new ideas for your US History class!  You can also use the template for other classes, like World History.  Check it out!

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