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!


Women’s Suffrage Online Quiz

I found this 10 question quiz about women’s suffrage that I thought would be an interesting way to start class the day you cover the Women’s Suffrage Movement or the 19th amendment.  See how much your students know before you discuss women’s suffrage!



Photo:  Library of Congress – Public Domain

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!

Teddy Roosevelt Video Footage at the Library of Congress

According to the Library of Congress, “It has been said that during the silent newsreel period no president was more photogenic than Theodore Roosevelt. He was unusually cooperative with motion picture photographers, often pausing in the midst of official ceremonies to face the camera, bow, wave, smile, gesture, or otherwise accommodate the cameraman.”1

The Library of Congress has a good bit of video footage of Roosevelt at various places and events.  These things are really neat to watch!  Not only do you get to see the man himself, BUT you get a good glimpse of the crowds that came to see him.  Check out the outfits that everyone wore!  In some of the footage, it may take a minute or more for TR to appear.  If you want to show a few of these to your students, play a quick game of “Who Can Spot Teddy Roosevelt.”  Make sure that you watch the clips beforehand, so that you know when Roosevelt will appear (in case your students miss it and don’t see him).  Remind students that this is not some old movie with people in costumes; these were actual people in these clips!  They might get bored watching all of each clip, so you may want to show just a couple of minutes.  You could also show one a day for a few days at the end of class.  Here are a few below.  To see the full list of videos with descriptions, click here.


1 Theodore Roosevelt on Film – Theodore Roosevelt: His Life and Times on Film. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2016, from https://www.loc.gov/collections/theodore-roosevelt-films/articles-and-essays/theodore-roosevelt-on-film/

Using Excerpts from The Jungle to Teach About Muckraking and the Progressive Era

I will never forget reading an excerpt from Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.  I was so grossed out that I did a full-body shiver.  YUCK!  And then I thought…what a great way to get students’ attention!  The gross-out factor is always an easy way to hook your students, and there are a few times in a US History course when the opportunity arises to use such a ploy.  If you are covering muckrakers and the Progressive Era, excerpts from The Jungle are a must.  I poured over pages of the book and compiled my favorite passages here.

So how can you use these passages?  I used them with window notes.  (If you are not familiar with window notes, you can watch a short prezi on them here, but I think you will understand the basics just by looking at my PowerPoint slides.).  Essentially, you are allowing students to take notes in such a way that it appeals to different types of thinkers and multiple intelligences.  First, display this PowerPoint on the board for the students to copy.  Then, you have two options:

1- Read some of the passages aloud.  If you do this, I suggest that you read them twice.  The first time through, have all students put their pencils down and just listen and focus on what they are hearing.  Then, during the second reading, allow students to fill in the notes as you read.  (I loved hearing the students’ reactions as I read the gross parts out loud!)  If you read these, I suggest only choosing a couple of passages, as reading them all might stretch your students’ attention spans too much.  Plus, the point can be conveyed thoroughly with only one or two of these passages.

2- Have students read the passages silently and fill in the notes as they go.

The PowerPoint that I have created has two different options to give you an idea of what you can do.  You can be very general or very specific.

Other Options:

  • Use an excerpt as a bell ringer to introduce muckrakers or labor unions.
  • Read one aloud and have students write a short freewrite as an exit ticket.
  • Have students create a poster protesting the working conditions in the meat-packing factories.
  • Have students imagine that they are a worker in a meat-packing factory and have them create a journal entry about a day at work.

Also, for you economics teachers out there, you can use these to introduce the importance of government regulation and how it protects the public.  Even if you don’t use them, the excerpts are a great read…and they’ll definitely make you more appreciative of the FDA!


Photo Chicago Meat Inspectors in Early 1906, Library of Congress, public domain
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