History Gal
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Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Research Ideas

Did you know May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month? 

I recently posted a freebie for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and have had some requests for a list of important people for students to research. So, here's my list!

Teaching Students the Changing Political Boundaries of Europe during the 20th and 21st Centuries

An image of Europe at night from space with text that reads Teaching Students how the Borders of Europe Have Changed, a Blog Post By History Gal


Are you looking for some ways to help teach your students about the political boundaries in Europe and how they've changed throughout the 20th and 21st centuries - particularly what Europe looked like before World War I, after World War I, after World War II, and after the Cold War? I have some resources that will help! 

Teaching Ancient Rome: Organizing Your Content

Ancient Rome is a HUGE unit. There's so much information to cover and it's hard to figure out when to teach what and how to get it all to fit in the time you have to allocated to it. So, I thought it would be helpful to show you how I plan it out.

4 Activities to Include in Your Middle Ages Unit


Text reads: 4 Activity Ideas for the Middles Ages with an image of a hand-made stained glass window and Illumuniated Letter handouts

I don't know why, but the Middle Ages is one of my all time favorite units to teach. I LOVE it! If you don't love it or just need some ideas to help make teaching about medieval Europe more engaging for your students, here are 4 of my favorite Middle Ages activities:

Helping Students Analyze Primary Sources

Students looking at a computer with the text Help Students Analyze Primary Sources

Do your students struggle with analyzing primary sources? 

Here are some things you can do to help.


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Begin by spending a few days on primary and secondary sources. This set includes doodle notes and station activities for both primary and secondary sources. I'd break this lesson into 3 days.

Day 1: Secondary Sources Doodle Notes
Day 2: Primary Sources Doodle Notes
Day 3: 5 Learning Stations to reinforce student knowledge of primary and secondary sources


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Image of station activity in Primary and Seconday Sources Lesson by History Gal
Images of station activities in Primary and Seconday Sources Lesson by History Gal

Thumbnail image of My Life as a Primary Source by History Gal
Next, remind students that many of the primary resources that they'll encounter were written or created by ordinary people living ordinary lives. Then, let them create a primary source document about their own life. Intrigued? I've created a free lesson that you can use!

Then, during each unit, introduce your students to at least one primary source. It can be a letter, a speech, a photograph, a political cartoon, a piece of artwork, or even a song. Have students read it, listen to it, observe it, and think about how the primary source connects to the period of time they are learning about. 


Wish there was something you could use instead of creating primary sources analysis handouts yourself?

I've created engaging doodle pages for a variety of primary source types that make analyzing primary sources a lot easier for students!

Thumbnail image of Analyzing Letters as  a Primary Source by History Gal
Thumbail image of Analyzing Songs as  a Primary Source by History Gal
Thumbnail image of Analyzing Photographs as  a Primary Source by History Gal
Thumbnail of Analyzing Pieces of Art as  a Primary Source by History Gal
Thumbnail of Analyzing Speeches as  a Primary Source by History Gal
Thumbnail of Political Cartoons as  a Primary Source by History Gal

My Lesson Plans for Teaching the American Revolution


I thought it might be helpful to share how I plan out my American Revolution unit. I have it lasting 12 class periods (meeting for 55 minutes each day), but the actual length will depend on how long your class periods are, your individual students, and how much time you have to devote to this unit (which, of course, depends on how much of U.S. History you are covering in your semester or year class).

Teaching the Fall of Rome

Light bulb illustration with text that reads Lesson Ideas for Teaching the Fall of Rome

How do you teach the fall of Rome? When I first began teaching, I lectured about all the events and issues that led to the fall of Rome and then gave my students a mini-research project about the different groups of people that were involved in the fall. It was OK. It wasn't horrible, I just wanted it to be more engaging. So, this is what I came up with . . .


Day 1: Hook them with a game. I created a simulation where students randomly choose an emperor profile (based on an actual emperor who ruled during Rome's downturn and fall) and a treasury amount. Then, they are presented with situations where they have to make a decision (they are given several options to choose from).

A decision card from the simulation Can You Stop the Fall of Rome?

The decisions result in the students either gaining or losing gold coins. At the end of the simulation, students tally up all of their gold coins in their treasury and learn whether they were successful (or not) in stopping the fall of the Roman Empire. What makes this so awesome is that students don't realize that while they are playing, they are actually learning about the key events that took place during the collapse of the Roman Empire. And, when they start learning  the actual content for this part of the Ancient Rome unit, they easily make connections to the game they just played and remember the content a lot better!


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