I'll never forget the only time I ever fell asleep in class. I was in college, and the professor (a man who had the most monotone voice ever - he made Ben Stein sound like a motivational speaker) was droning one and on about George Bernard Shaw (an author who wasn't even on the reading list for that class). My head started doing that droop and jerk thing on that warm spring day until it nearly drooped all the way to my desk. I jerked my head back so violently that I smacked my head into the cinder block wall behind me hard enough to see stars and almost pass out!
I vowed then and there that as a teacher, I would never give boring notes to my students. Over the years I have developed a very energetic lecture style infused with stories, re-enactments and jokes to keep my students attention and spark their interest. But, it wasn't until I developed my interactive notes that I solved my problem of students not (or at least not neatly) recording the critical content.
My Ancient Egypt Interactive Notes include 3 presentations that utilize Google Slides (Egyptian Buildings, Egyptian Cultural Institutions and a Timeline of Ancient Egypt). Each presentation has built in "Turn and Talks" to allow students to think about and process the content and explicit directions for what to record and when to record it (so they have time to process the new information) on the provided student note taking sheets. Each presentation ends by giving students time to complete a short skills-based activity that uses the information they just learned!
So, click the link below to check out my Ancient Egypt Interactive Notes, and don't forget to look at and follow the rest of my store for more great Social Studies resources!
Dr. Marzano did some really incredible work in identifying what elements are the most successful or effective in helping students learn. I refer to these elements constantly when I create lesson plans and when I develop resources. My reading response journals all utilize at least 6 separate Marzano elements.
In this post, I will focus on my American Revolution Reading Response Journals. This resource includes 3 quick activities that center on creating and testing a hypothesis before reading a short passage. After your students read the short passage, they complete a series of tasks that call for them to summarize the reading, create a comic or other visual representation of the content, identify similarities and differences, and, finally, revisit their initial hypothesis and either confirm it or reject it based on what they read.
The topics included are: The First Continental Congress, The Continental Army and Alliances. If this sounds like something that would help your students, click the link below to check out this great resource (which is also available as part of a bundle) and don't forget to take a look at and follow the rest of my store for other great American History resources!
I get called "strange" at work quite frequently by one of my fellow Social Studies teachers at school. I don't dress or look funny (at least I don't think I do...). It's because I absolutely LOVE lesson planning I really do. I can't help it. I love starting with standards and working backwards to create complete, standards-aligned units with fun and engaging activities.
Earlier this year, I shared my Early Human Complete Unit & Assessment. This time, I'd like to highlight my Ancient Egypt unit.
This complete unit contains everything you need to deliver a three-week, Marzano aligned unit about the Ancient Egyptian civilization. It includes a day-by-day unit plan, a sheet to explain the purpose and Marzano alignment of each day (perfect for evaluations!) and all of the parts you'll need to deliver them!
Resources Included in the Unit:
I remember sitting in a PD years ago with a presenter who said something like, "Students don't learn from reading, they learn by thinking about what they have read." At the time, I didn't quite get it - I had yet to shed an over-reliance on textbooks and worksheets. But now, I realize the presenter (whether they knew it or not) had a clear understanding of Dr. Marzano's tenth element - Helping Students Process New Content.
Below are some things you (or an administrator) could look for to see if this element is being utilized in your classroom.
I have had several earlier blog posts about readers' theater plays (Want to Make History Come Alive? has all of my plays), but today I'd like to highlight one of my favorite sets: Ancient Egypt Readers' Theater.
These plays (which are also available as part of my Ancient Egypt Complete Unit and Assessment) allow your students to put themselves into the shoes of a variety of ancient Egyptians as they learn about how to make a mummy from the point of view of a brand new (and very squeamish) assistant, finding King Tut's tomb through the eyes of famed Egyptologist Howard Carter, and, finally, how to build a pyramid from the point of view of a work-adverse teenager.
Each part in each play is written at a specific reading level so students can be assigned "just right" parts based on their reading levels (our elementary friends use these as a way for their students to practice fluency which is something some of our lowest middle school readers could also use help with). This allows students at all reading levels to access the content without fear of struggling to read things out loud above their abilities.
I use readers' theater plays in each of my World History Units and love watching my students have fun and really get into the roles - especially those students who you wouldn't expect to thrive acting things out in front of their table mates.
In my class, these plays are performed by groups of four at their tables at a voice level two so everyone in the class can participate in each play. In between each play, I also have them respond to a brief writing prompt to strengthen the connections they have made.
So, if you are looking for a way to excite and engage your students in ancient Egyptian history in a new way, click the link below for my Ancient Egypt Readers' Theater plays which are also available as part of a complete unit as well as a bundle of three sets of ancient peoples plays. While you are there, be sure to check out and follow the rest of my store for other great World History resources!
I'm an 18 year veteran teacher that loves teaching, coaching, writing, and my family.