From the Front Lines: Shmoop in the Classroom – Reaction Blogging

We’re kicking off a new blog series to coincide with the launch of our new Shmoop Teachers website. Shmoop reports from the front lines. The trenches. Yes, real-life examples of teachers using Shmoop in the classroom. Send in your classroom examples (lesson plans, assignments, classroom activities, etc.) and we’ll share it here with the Shmoop Teachers community.

First Up: Students Share Reactions to Shmoop Reading via Classroom Blog

Who: Debra Schneider, Ph.D.
Subject: Social Studies
School: Merrill F. West HS, Tracy, CA

Reaction Blogging, Deb Schneider's Social Studies ClassThe Idea: Assign a Shmoop reading to your class, and have them post their reactions to the classroom blog.

“We were viewing segments of “Eyes on the Prize,” so my students are captivated by the Civil Rights Movement. I wanted them to show me they have read deeper and discovered more. I want them to read, show their comprehension, form an opinion, and convey their stance.”

The Assignment:

  • Debra assigned her students readings from Shmoop’s Jim Crow in America
  • She posted the assignment to her classroom blog
  • Each student was required to comment on her blog, answering the question, “What section (in reading, photos, or videos) most surprised you? Include the URL where you found it. The deeper you go into Shmoop, the better.

Debra says:

“I found Shmoop on a teacher’s list of “best Social Studies sites of 2008″ and I completely agree. The topics covered are comprehensive, the resources are varied and interesting, the writing acknowledges a complex history but in a way that my students can comprehend, and the writing style is very engaging.”

The assignment was a success. See Deb’s classroom blog for yourself. Deb plans to assign another Shmoop topic soon.