Student Engagement Strategies
Interpreting Political Cartoons
Analyzing political cartoons affords students the opportunity to evaluate primary sources which are relatively easy to interpret. They convey meaning in a simple, visual format which engages students and requires them to consider the artist’s meaning as well as the cartoon’s implications.The strategy presented on the Teaching History website provides a rationale, procedure, teacher preparation and materials for the activity.
Comic Strips and Cartoon Squares
Developing comic strips requires students to synthesize learned information while also allowing them to exercise their creativity. This also benefits EL and SSN students, as it allows them to create their own images to associate with the concept being learned. The strategy present on the Read Write Think website offers a detailed description of how to implement the activity along with resources and preparation
Teaching with Blogs
Although some students may not be able to access a computer from home, blogs are extremely valuable collaboration tools. Not only does it allow students to communicate their ideas to the rest of the class and the teacher without having to speak up in front of the class, but allows students and the teacher an opportunity to provide direct feedback. The strategy here from Read Write Think provides the research basis for using this strategy and a description of the strategy in practice.
Town Hall Meeting
Sharing multiple perspectives is at the core of studying history. This strategy from Facing History mimics the process of a town hall meeting by providing a structure for different perspectives on a topic to be heard. The website provides a rationale for the strategy, step-by-step procedures and an example of how the strategy can be enacted.
Graphic organizers are beneficial for students, as it allows them to compile ideas for easier access in the future. Unlike timelines, graphic organizers can be utilized to investigate concepts which may not adhere to a linear format. As well, graphic organizers can be used for many purposes in different formats, such as foldables, which are simple and quick to make in a classroom environment where time is of the essence. The strategy here from Teach Hub explains why graphic organizers are beneficial, how they can be used to reach all learners, and provides videos that explain how graphic organizers can be used in the classroom.
Teaching with Timelines
For the purpose of studying history, timelines are an indispensable way to chronologically organize information. As history is generally taught on a linear scale, students will benefit from a visual representation of time which also gives them the chance to see clear cause and effect relationships. The strategy from Teaching History offers tip on how to gather information for a timeline and provides different suggestions on how to use timelines in the classroom.
Similar to analyzing a political cartoon, living images requires students to look at several different photos from a certain time period and make inferences about where and when it was taken. This also requires students to consider how the people in the image may feel before requiring them to re-enact the photo in front of the class, including expressions and gestures. This strategy from Facing History provides a rational, step-by-step procedure and an example of the strategy in action.