Connecticut_State_Capitol,_Hartford_CT

A new, online resource for educators encourages and enables them to teach social studies lessons with an emphasis on Connecticut history.

Connecticut Humanities, in collaboration with the Connecticut League of History Organizations, today introduced Teach It at the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies conference in Cromwell. Activities featured on the website promote the inquiry-based learning techniques found in the Connecticut State Social Studies Frameworks. Grade-specific content is both intuitive and adaptable, allowing teachers the flexibility to use the resource in ways that best meet their classroom goals.

“The history of our state, our town and our community plays an important role in our understanding of the larger world around us,” said state Commissioner of Education Dianna R. Wentzell. “We are grateful for organizations like the Connecticut Humanities Council that value the teaching of local history as much as we do.”

Teach It currently consists of two components — a series of classroom educational activities and a field trip directory. The classroom activities equip educators with resources to examine, sample questions to ask students, and suggested methods for communicating results. The field trip directory offers an opportunity for museums and other heritage organizations across the state to recommend themselves to teachers as a place to take their students for a hands-on, inquiry-based learning experience.

At its launch, Teach It is geared toward third, fifth and eighth grade teachers, but it will be expanded to include other grades in the future. The project will also grow to include a resource directory that will link teachers to relevant materials housed in museums, libraries, and heritage organizations statewide.

The growth of Teach It content will rely heavily on crowdsourcing, according to Gregg Mangan, manager of digital humanities for Connecticut Humanities, which hosts the project’s website. “Teachers are encouraged to create their own activities,” Mangan said, “while museums and heritage organizations are also urged to develop activities and upload field trip opportunities through a user-friendly contribution form on the website.” Find out more at teachitct.org.

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