#1 Scribble Maps
When I think of Social Studies, the first visual I see in my mind is a MAP. I think I can thank my 6th grade Geography teacher for that. My entire 6th grade binder was filled with about 1,000 paper maps...uhhhh! With the help of technology in this day and age, teachers can provide a real world geography experience for their students and "fly" virtually from place to place. There are a ton of really cool map techie tools out there such as Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Tour Builder, etc. that you can use in your classroom. However, today were are talking really EASY tools. Therefore, check out Scribble Maps.
There are a lot of other really cool features to this site but let's continue keeping it EASY today :)
These programs have A LOT more power than creating slideshows. You can make really fun animations in both Powerpoint and Keynote and then turn it into a movie. For instance, I did a lesson last year (yes, another Explorer lesson) in which students made a Scribble Map (above) and saved it to their desktop. They uploaded their map as a background in a PowerPoint template that I had placed in Google Classroom (I also did a lesson in which the template was accessed from our student server) for the students to easily access. This template just had a small sailboat png image...that's it. After the map was turned into a slide background, I showed them the animation feature that would start their boat where the explorer was from and they would "sail" across the path he took to get to the New World. Students placed their boat at the sponsoring country. Then they had to make sure they clicked on the boat to add the animation. We went to Animations>Motion Paths>Draw a Line:
#3 Newspaper Generator
Literally SO easy! Have your students head to The Newspaper Clipping Generator website and SUMMARIZE the MAIN IDEA of an event from history. This is a great way to integrate social students and language arts. All you have to do is enter a title for your paper, date, heading and story. Click on "Generate" and BOOM, you have this cute little creation:
#4 Timeline Maker
There are many really awesome Timeline makers out in cyberspace but here is a super EASY one that you could use in your classroom without any tech support :) Timeline Maker has a simple input screen that allows students to change the number of events, font and size for their timeline.
ReadWriteThink also has an EASY Timeline Maker that you can add images to!
#5 Fakebook for Historical Figures
Many of you are probably familiar with this website but it is always a HIT. With Fakebook you can make "fake" Facebook pages for historical figures. Students first search for images that they can then upload to this site. Word of caution: This website advertises to "Search Google for images" but I would advise to have a little conversation about copyright. I wouldn't let students do a straight up Google image search to complete an activity like this and instead would use it as an opportunity to touch upon digital citizenship :)
If you haven't done so, be sure to check my 5 EASY Back to School Projects blog post by clicking the image below: