Exciting and overwhelming

While reading and, as mentioned above, digging in – I am struck by how vast the amount of super cool resources there are available to us all.  I find myself going to one place to begin reading, and seeing a link to something else that looks interesting and going there, soon to be five pages away from my original intent.  All of the things I find are relevant and I find so much I want to use and share in my classroom with my students.  My problem is, how  do I narrow it all down and really find the meat that is the most important to be shared.  I liked it when Matt said if you only have one day to teach John Brown, make sure you teach this.  That helps a lot.  I have so much to teach in such short time periods that I feel like I am rushing through really valuable and exciting material all the time.  Because of the standards and focus of powers that be, I am limited on the time I can take.

As has been mentioned, I want to take the time with my students to teach them to research and problem solve – using the content of sites such as House Divided and Gilder Lehrman.  I need to figure out how to design lesson plans and units that get them to do this.  School starts in a couple weeks and I want to have some dynamic lesson plans in place and ready to start off with a bang.  UGH!!  I’m feeling the pressure.  After this week I will have several from all of us regarding the Civil War, Lincoln, Underground Railroad, and Reconstruction.  But I don’t teach that until after Winter break.  I have much to do.

One more comment, I really find the essay regarding the Underground Railroad fascinating and helpful to look at from a perspective I never have.  I see how the differences in the North and South would have greatly affected the punishments, risks, etc of those working the underground railroad.  And equally fascinating is the fact that because of States’ Rights which I always teach as a Southern emphasis and part of the reason for war, were just as exercised in the North.  That makes it a very interesting discussion to have with the students.  Great information.

Posted in Discussion, Online Learning
2 comments on “Exciting and overwhelming
  1. leahy says:

    I agree lots of exciting stuff to look into.I’ve been an elementary teacher for years but last year I moved to middle school and am now teaching Social Studies. If all you do is read from a book to these kids they learn very little. I’m like you I want history to be important to them. I want them to be thinkers and put themselves back in that time period. Although the information is overwhelming it is what I need to stimulate my students.

  2. salbertson says:

    I am also feeling overwhelmed and do the same things you do…find so much information that I don’t know what to focus on. I also really appreciated the “if you only have one day to teach…” comment because that helps me narrow it down to something more manageable. However, I appreciate access to all these incredible resources to help me learn more about our history. I am relatively new to this field and have a lot to learn. I feel great about being able to access everything today, including successfully managing to post a comment here, but I am ready to take a break from my computer. : )

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House Divided Project

Course Professor
Matthew Pinsker: pinskerm@dickinson.edu
Dickinson College
Carlisle, PA 17013

Course Producer
Lance Warren: warren@gilderlehrman.org
Gilder Lehrman Institute
New York, NY 10036