Going digital was already one of the biggest trends in education when COVID-19 hit and schools across the world were forced to move to Distance Learning. Suddenly, all teachers were thrust into digital resources, Google Docs, Zoom, and all the headaches that came with them.
No matter if your experience with Distance Learning was brutal or just a small struggle, there are many excellent resources you can use with Google Classroom now and in the future.
I never ran a paperless classroom and don’t think I'd ever go fully paperless. There’s too many activities that lend themselves better to doing by hand. Distance Learning taught the limits of teaching through technology.
However, I do integrate many Google Docs, Slides, and digital interactive assignments into every unit of US History. When technology is used effectively, it’s an amazing resource. There are many digital learning tools available that enhance student learning.
Digital Interactive Notebooks for US History
I based my first digital Google Classroom activities I created on the cut-and-paste interactive notebook pages that were most effective with my students. Working with these graphic organizers helped my students better understand difficult topics in US History.
I set out to create resources in Google Classroom that did just that. The Digital Interactive Notebook pages I created aren't tech for the sake of it, but rather use the features of Google Drive and online sites to effectively engage students.
The activities feature graphic organizers that are similar to those students use in traditional notebooks. This helps them to easily understand what they need to do on each page.
Directions at the top of each page are simple and include links to reliable online sources. These might be primary sources to analyze, secondary source readings, or short videos to learn about the content.
Students then type directly on the pages, insert images, and drag & drop information for a variety of engaging, interactive activities. These digital notebooks are a fantastic way to integrate technology into your curriculum and can be completed without printing any paper!
These digital interactive notebook activities are perfect for classroom use, Distance Learning, or a trip to the computer lab. They can be downloaded in bundles for US History Part 1 which covers through Reconstruction or US History Part 2 from the Gilded Age to Modern America.
If you just need a few pages of activities, they’re also available by unit here:
You can click on any of the links above for a detailed preview of that unit's Digital Interactive Notebook pages as well as read some feedback from teachers. You can also get a preview of the complete package and read through feedback from teachers here!
Digital Unit Guide Packets for US History
The digital notebooks are great for engaging and interactive Google Classroom assignments. However, sometimes I want a straightforward and thorough packet to cover everything students need to know in a US History unit.
I created these US History Study Guide Packets for that purpose. They don’t feature the drag-and-drop and graphic organizer interactive activities like the notebooks. However, they’re easy-to-understand and still include a variety of activities.
These independent work packets include introductory readings, essential questions for each unit and 9 pages of activities on each unit. There are analysis questions so that students are not just copying information, but thinking about key concepts. Pages feature primary source excerpts, images for students to analyze, mapping to help improve geography skills, timelines, and more!
Perhaps best of all, the packets include both printable PDF worksheets and Google Docs versions. The Google Docs feature links to great online sources and are perfect for those using Google Classroom.
These packets are perfect to use throughout your curriculum to keep your students focused on what they need to know! I assign them through Google Classroom at the start of each unit and allow students to work on them throughout.
Just like the digital notebooks, you can download download all 18 packets to cover ALL of American History in the bundle or each unit is also available individually here:
If you think you might need all of these resources, another option is to join Students of History. When you sign up, you'll get immediate access to ALL these digital notebooks and unit guide packets PLUS tons more engaging US History activities that work seamlessly for Google Classroom. That includes video lessons, review games, worksheets, and more. Every unit is fully planned out for you for the entire year!
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