Using Crash Course in the Classroom

As a preservice teacher, I have yet to take any course on  how to teach Social Studies. That being said it is still my favorite class of all time (of all time) so I still keep an eye out for useful teaching resources. One such resource is Crash course World history, which I have mentioned in passing a very weeks ago.

“Why?” you might ask, “Are you so interested in finding youtube videos that fit into the classroom?”. To that I can only answer that I grew up on the internet on one form or another. I don’t think that is going to change for the next generation. I think it is important to get outdoors, but I also think that it is a mistake to avoid integrating technology into the classroom. As pointed out in the Social Studies Grade 7 curriculum package ,“Analysis of media messages is a valuable component of Social Studies K to 7 , and allows students to think critically and independently about issues that affect them” (p. 24). Students are going to find their own online resource for learning, it makes more sense to try and point them to well founded and educational resources rather than just easily access (and not necessarily accurate) resources.

Anywho, most of of the videos in world history are relevant to older grade (10, 11 12) but there are a few videos that are both relevant and appropriate for younger grades. One such video is the video about ancient egypt seen below.

This video introduces a lot of information about Egypt as well as some key features of how we look at history. It also point out some key misconceptions we can hold about Egypt. For example, John Green points out that Egypt was a VERY old civilization and therefore a lot of events that we associate with ‘ancient egypt’ happened HUNDREDS of years apart. King tutankhamen for example, had absolutely no connection with pyramids. Even to him, pyramid were relics of  an ancient society.

This video is a great introduction to a lesson that address any of the following PLO’s for grade 7. A3 compile a body of information from a range of sources (you can use this as a source of information and compare it to other sources of information. Alternatively, you can talk about how the creating of this video requires a lot of research). A2 use various types of graphs, tables, timelines, and maps to obtain or communicate information. (The video address the use of timelines as a way of understanding events and people and their relation to one another.) C1 describe the evolution and purpose of rules, laws, and government in ancient civilizations. (This video talks about how different pharaohs ruled and how that rule was disrupted by things like famine and hunger. It also looked at things like the difference in trade and war as a method of expansion.) E1 assess how physical environments affected ancient civilizations (The Pyramids obviously had a huge change on the landscape of Egypt and this could be discussed with kiddies. Modern day examples, such as skyscrapers could be used as a comparison. Also the video briefly touched on the fact that Egypt richness in resources meant a rich country. Educators could easily look at how the location of a country affects its history.)

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