Keep Calm and Study History

Ummm, how did I not know this?!  I was researching for one of my TPT products that I’m working on, and I stumbled upon the fact that the “Keep Calm and Carry On” shirts, posters, memes, etc. are based on a British propaganda poster from World War II!

Apparently, this particular phrase and poster was produced in 1939 to boost British morale in case the major cities experience bombings.  (Speaking of bombings, check out my podcast on the Battle of Britain.)  I know that these posters and such have been around for a while, but I can’t believe I didn’t know their origin!  This is definitely a very concrete example of how history has influenced modern life and pop culture.  Share this awesome example with your students and remind them to…

Really Cool Interview with Pearl Harbor Survivor

Can you imagine what it would be like to be on the USS Arizona when it was hit?  Well, the guy in this video knows!  In remembrance of the attack on Pearl Harbor, I thought I would link to this REALLY interesting video of a veteran of the USS Arizona detailing his experience during the attack.  Sometimes when you are studying a large event where many people die, it’s hard to make it personal.  This interview is fascinating and gives students a very personal glimpse of what these men went through!  It’s 15 minutes long, but I loved watching to the end.  At the end, he explains what he thinks happened to his twin brother, who was also on the USS Arizona.  You can stop it at about 10:00 if students start to lose interest.

 

LTH 015 – Battle of Britain

In this episode, I’ll give you tons of free resources to help you teach the Battle of Britain.  Get a discussion starter, video recommendations, assignment ideas, and more!

 

Show Notes and Resources

Discussion Starter

Free World War II Worksheet/Summary on TPT (scroll down to page 5 and 6)

Battle of Britain PowerPoint (skip to slide 23 for the B of B stuff)

Good Summary Video Adolf Hitler: Battle of Britain – Biography.com Video (2:11)

Winston Churchill – Video on History Channel (5:11)

Animated Summary of the Blitz – Video on History Channel (1 min.)

Interviews with Battle of Britain Veterans – Video (3:44)

Air Raid Siren Sound Effect on iTunes

Battle of Britain Assignments

Part of Churchill’s Battle of Britain Speech – Audio only

Text of End of Churchill’s Battle of Britain Speech

Interactive Infographic (scroll down past the picture of the plane and give it a second to load)

RAF Infographic

Photo:  MH65477 from Imperial War Museum
Intro music clip of “I Dunno” by Grapes CC BY-ND 3.0

Short D-Day Quiz

What does the “D” stand for in D-day?  This is a question that you will be asked every year you teach US History.  I found a quick little quiz about D-Day, which includes the answer to that question.  The quiz is just a quick 8-question quiz, but you can use it for several things:

  • Use it before the lesson to gauge prior knowledge
  • Use it as a warm-up or discussion starter
  • Copy and paste it into a Word document to create a quick assessment
  • Allow students to complete the quiz on a phone or other device as extra credit

The one downer about this quiz is that it doesn’t actually grade the answers; it just gives you the correct answers via a link at the bottom.  So, you need to have students write down their answers and compare.  If you are doing this in front of the class, the best way would probably be to have the quiz open on one tab and the answer page open in another tab for quick access.  It’s a small resource, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful.  Anything that can save you time and engage students is always a plus!

 

Photo: Final Dress Rehearsal for D-Day, Library of Congress – No known restrictions

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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