The Monthly Roundup – Loves, Links, Reads, and Reviews

Loves and Links

Welcome back to another Loves, Links, Reads, and Reviews – the monthly link roundup where I post my best Social Studies related finds from the internet, and discuss all that I’ve been up to in the past month.

Loves and Links

The 1619 Project and the Long Battle Over U.S. History – With the release of two new books surrounding the 1619 project, Nikole Hannah-Jones has been making the rounds to promote the book and discuss the (unfair) criticism that has been sent her way. This article has a nice summary of events.

The Latest Research on the Brain and Learning – I found this amazing slideshow, packed with research, on Twitter, and then promptly lost the source. (If you know the source, feel free to message me and I’ll update this post.) If you click through the slideshow, you’ll see a bunch of myth-busting and linked research. Learning styles, Boom’s Taxonomy, the science of reading… there are so many great topics addressed in this presentation.

At Colonial Williamsburg, a ‘Landscape of Resistance’ Is Thriving Once Again – As an avid gardener, I’ve always been intrigued by the connections between food, culture, and history. This post discusses how Michael Twitty (author of the Cooking Gene) has revived the garden of enslaved people at Colonial Williamsburg.

How Movement and Gestures Can Improve Student Learning – Yet another reason I love stations for learning. This post from KQED discussed how purposeful movement is beneficial to learning. – I don’t know how I didn’t know about this site sooner. Honestly, way wasn’t this on my radar when we were all teaching remotely? At any rate, this website is FREE, student friendly, and is the perfect assessment tool. It predicts what students are trying to draw digitally. It’s a very simple website, so it stores students progress automatically, and sharing a product is quite student friendly also. I would suggest checking it out for formative assessment.

Give that it’s near the end of the year, “top 2021” book lists are starting to come out. I’ve seen a couple that I’d definitely going to spend some time pursuing. (Side note, do you spend hours just choosing your next book? Yeah, same.) Check out NPR’s Books We Love , the Smithsonian’s 10 Best History Books of the Year, and the New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2021.

Google Expeditions – I know that many teachers were dismayed when it seemed like Google Expeditions had gone away. This blog post shows how many of them have actually reappeared on Google Arts & Culture.

Translate My Slide – Out of everything on this list, this add-on is the game changer for teachers. Like many teachers, I’ve taught emerging bilinguals with little/no support besides a “good luck!” I create in Google Slides, so I spent years of my life translating every document by translating each text box separately. It was awful and time consuming. I tried this add-on. It worked. I don’t know that the translation was excellent, but it was SO MUCH QUICKER that what I’ve had to do previously. Download the add-on and try it out!

Peacefield History posts from this past month…

I posted on my Instagram page about the new book releases for middle grade and YA historical fiction and non-fiction. You can preview the offerings below and shop through these links on

New Peacefield History Resources

Labor Strikes of the Late 1800s – With this activity, students will listen to one of the more accessible podcasts from American History Tellers – The Gilded Age – Workers Revolt! The guided notes are broken into sections for students. This podcast discusses the Haymarket bombing, the Homestead strike, and the Pullman strike.

The Second Industrial Revolution – With this activity, students will analyze the reasons why the Second Industrial Revolution developed in the United States. This lesson is meant to serve as one of the introductory lessons for the Gilded Age. Teachers should use the ideas presented on each slide to collect prior knowledge from students, annotate the slides, and then build on student understanding. Students will also learn about the major technological inventions of the Gilded Age. 

Reads and Reviews

I only read 2 books this month. It’s a bit atrocious. I basically gave that time over to knitting. By the end of the month I realized that I could both knit and listen to audiobooks. I suspect that will take over a bit of my time this winter.

Reads and Reviews - November 2021
The Power of Geography

The Power of Geography

With the Power of Geography, Tim Marshall examines 9 regions of the world (plus space) that have faced a recent geopolitical conflict of some form in recent years. He breaks down each region with a geographical description of its land and resources and then shows how geographic features have influenced that area's development. He then summarizes the full history of the territory and connects it all to the issues the area is facing in the current day. Marshall literally gives a worldview to each of these 10 regions and shrinks down the vastness of history into comprehensible ideas.
If you teach any type of World History (Ancient History, APHUG, Global Studies etc.) and you've struggled to make connections between history and current events - pick up this book! I would see most teachers utilizing this book as a reference book - taking some time to review a chapter when they're framing out a new unit for students.
For the rest of us, this book is excellent at providing some historical context to the headlines we read or listen to on the news.
Trying to make sense of the recent crisis in Ethiopia and the Tigray region? This book provides that context.
Wondering why China keeps popping up around the world? This book discusses China's intrusions and the reasoning behind their forays into Africa, the Caribbean, and Australia
Question why Elon Musk keeps trying to jet himself into space? Yep, this book discusses that also.
Basically, you need to check out the Power of Geography. It's a fantastic book for history teachers, but it's also really helpful for those of us just trying to make sense of the world right now.
More info →
Black Birds in the Sky

Black Birds in the Sky

(YA reading level - graphic depictions of violence and use of the "n" word is historical documents)

Written by Brandy Colbert, Black Birds in thy Sky recounts the story of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. Colbert writes with plain and clear text to recount the details surrounding the event - a necessary tactic given the immensity of sadness surrounding the history.
Really though, the book is about much more than the massacre. Colbert weaves in events that proceeded the event - including the founding of Oklahoma, the pattern of violence against Black men in the years before the massacre, WWI, the work of Ida B. Wells, Reconstruction, and much more. Colbert also takes time at the end to connect the massacre to current events discussing how the story had been hidden for many years, how it was gradually exposed by Black historians, and how the echoes of that story are reflected in the events of 2020. It's a great example of how historical context connects events throughout U.S. History. 
More info →

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