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US History by Presidential Terms
Old 02-24-2013, 09:59 AM
 
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I really want to teach my US history class by presidential terms. For example we would have an "Abraham Lincoln" unit and during that unit we would talk about everything that happened in US history during his presidency (In addition to diving in to Abraham Lincoln as a man much more in depth) My thinking behind this is a combination of a few things:
1. To me it just make more sense
2. I think that history would be more memorable this way
3. It would allow me to introduce some REALLY cool topics that I don't feel like the original curriculum has room for (ex. 1: There is a whole group of people who believe that Lincoln was already dying from a rare heredity disorder which also explains his physical stature. ex. 2: during a duel Andrew Jackson was shot and supposedly NEVER moved, then killed his opponent. Why? The man insulted Rachel's honor.) History is really cool and I want my kids to grasp that!
4. I think history would be more easily understood
So now my question is has anyone ever done or heard of this? If so how did you do it? Did your kids like it? Any tips/suggestions? I plan to use interactive binders.
I know this will require a LOT of work upfront on my part but I'm completely okay with that.
Thanks y'all!


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Old 02-24-2013, 11:54 AM
 
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How will you deal with long term trends, cultural shifts, events that happened later but were sown earlier?

It seems to me that limiting history to 8-year periods (at best) would make it very compartmentalized and risk become a trivia-fest.
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Missing the bigger picture
Old 02-24-2013, 03:04 PM
 
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I agree with the above post...I think that the reason that Social studies (and history in particular) is so interesting to kids is that you can draw so many parallels to current events, and cultural shifts My class is taught from a "Social Studies is everywhere" perspective and we are constantly looking at how we did/did not learn from the events of the past, and the kids do a fantastic job of analyzing current news by relating it to what happened in the past. IMO, this is what it's really about...

Just my two cents, but I think shrinking it down to a bunch of "cool facts" in chunks by president will turn the class into "jeopardy-style" learning and miss out on the bigger connections. Plus, how will you decide what presidents to include and who to exclude? Teaching history this way will distill it to a political focus, instead of where the focus should be: on the human story.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:38 PM
 
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do you mean by individual presidents? Since there have been 44 that is a lot of "eras." Maybe I misunderstood?
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United Streaming
Old 04-05-2013, 05:35 PM
 
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Just an FYI:
United Streaming has a presidential series - but I think its only through Pierce. Each video has teacher/student materials, like timelines which incorportates both U.S. and World events during that time period.


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Old 05-04-2013, 06:35 PM
 
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There is a fantastic series of videos on the presidents by the History Channel called The Presidents. Each president is covered in a 20-30 minute clip. It's really well done.
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