Filed under Social Studies Ideas

Cockaigne: Land of Medieval Dreams

Cockaigne: Land of Medieval Dreams

Have you ever wondered what your ideal world might look like? At a recent trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts I had a chance to glimpse into a few medieval artists’ fantasies, as they portrayed the Land of Cockaigne. According to Merriam-Webster, “The term “Cockaigne” comes from the Middle French phrase pais de cocaigne, … Continue reading

Protests, Singing, and Creativity

Protests, Singing, and Creativity

Recently, thanks to a kind friend’s invitation, I had the chance to sing in “The Big Sing,” a one-weekend-a-year chorus of over 100 singers, gathered to sing songs associated with social justice. The Sing was glorious fun, and I was reminded yet again of the power of music to express ideas more powerfully than words … Continue reading

The Great Thanksgiving Listen

The Great Thanksgiving Listen

Two of my most memorable school assignments both involved interviewing my grandfather. In the first, for a seventh grade history assignment, I learned about his work during World War II Air Raid drills, making sure no light shone through neighborhood windows. In the second, for a college writing class, I learned rowdier stories of his … Continue reading

Students as Questioners 6: What Do Historians Ask?

Students as Questioners 6: What Do Historians Ask?

One key way to encourage student questioning is to think about the questions that creative professionals in a discipline might ask. Every field moves forward when individuals ask questions. Helping students understand the questions in a field helps them envision how the creative processes of the discipline move forward. So, what about history? As a … Continue reading

Students as Questioners 5: Questions in the Disciplines

Students as Questioners 5: Questions in the Disciplines

One of the three keys I’ve identified for supporting creativity in the classroom is teaching the creative methodologies of the disciplines you are teaching. “Teaching the creative methodologies” is a fancy phrase for the idea that, whatever subject you are teaching, you teach not just the “what” of the subject but the “how” as well. … Continue reading