Teach It is a platform for educators to share content in the form of inquiry-based activities that reinforce the learning principles found in the Connecticut state social studies frameworks. Rather than providing lengthy, inflexible curriculum or overly detailed lesson plans, Teach It provides educators with prompts and resources that can be easily adapted into their already existing lesson plans, while walking them through all four steps in the frameworks’ inquiry arc. A typical Teach It activity provides educators with topic-specific resources such as compelling questions, supporting questions, primary and secondary sources for students to research, and suggestions for ways that students might communicate their conclusions and take informed action. This series of quick and flexible activities will not only help students learn about conducting research, but will also help them make meaningful connections to larger historical narratives by looking at them through a local lens.
Help Build It
The official launch of Teach It is scheduled for December 1, 2015, and we need your help to build it. Visit Teach It at teachitct.org and review our sample activities for grades 3, 5, and 8. You can then design an activity of your own for use in the classroom. It is easy. Just click on “Add an Activity” and fill out a short, online form, then upload a couple of resources and you are done! And as an extra incentive, we will pay $75 per publishable activity for the first 30 publishable activities we receive. We hope you will take us up on this opportunity to build your own classroom resources and share them with your colleagues at this unique and exciting time in social studies education.
As the content on Teach It continues to grow, we will be adding a steady stream of new features to the site. In addition to expanding our content to include materials for more grade levels, we will be adding a field trip directory populated by museums and heritage organizations across the state. This directory will provide educators with a searchable directory of inquiry-based field trips available to them, an explanation of how each trip ties into the methods promoted in the frameworks, and all the planning and contact information needed to arrange a visit. Not looking to leave the classroom? That is not a problem. The directory will include a list of “virtual” field trips as well.
Lastly, we will be adding a resource directory to provide students and educators with access to photographs, maps, newspapers, finding aids, archival collections, and other resources housed at libraries and heritage organizations throughout Connecticut. This searchable directory will help provide access to primary and secondary sources students might otherwise not be able to find, as well as educate students about resources available for future research.
We hope you will visit often and let us know about your experiences using Teach It. We are working hard to create a site that provides you with all the resources you need to bring inquiry-based Connecticut history into the classroom, but we need your feedback to let us know how we can make it the best possible resource for you.