TEACH WITH HUMOR USING U.S. HISTORY CRASH COURSE!
Few classroom strategies are as successful as this simple approach: make learning fun! That, or course, is easier said than done, but when it comes to teaching American history content, the YouTube series Crash Course U.S. History
is a fantastic place to start.
The script of each episode is packed with humorous observations about life and culture -- ones that help to make strong points about the history being communicated. Just as importantly, the host, John Green, has what it takes to keep students' interest: enthusiasm about the topics, a quirky way with props, and a funny, sometimes deadpan delivery of content. Students like watching the series, which means they pay attention to it and learn!
Primary Sources Emphasized!
Teachers like it too, though, because the content is solid, relying on the regular use of primary sources, including the "Mystery Document" feature which occurs in every episode, in which John Green reads from a famous document of the period and has to see if he can identify the author.
Where to Find Crash Course U.S. History
Each episode of Crash Course contains about 10 minutes of content plus a brief time for the credits. Episodes are available for free on YouTube at the following playlist:
Crash Course U.S. History
If you are new to Crash Course, I encourage you to watch a few videos as soon as you can. I expect you'll be just as enthusiastic about the classroom possibilities as I am!
ABOUT THESE CRASH COURSE U.S. HISTORY WORKSHEETS
Time stamps are provided for each and every question to help students zero in on the answers. If you do not care to provide your students with time stamp information, however, the packet also includes a "questions only" worksheet for each episode.
Each worksheet focuses on a single episode of Crash Course U.S. History and typically contains between 10 and 20 items for students to complete. Worksheets are formatted to fit on one page for easy copying and a detailed answer key is provided for each episode!
QUESTION TYPES INCLUDED:
Some worksheets are free answer.
Some are true/false -- and in the answer key, all false answers are annotated to give additional information.
Some are fill-in-the-blank or cloze format.
The worksheets cycle through these formats in order to keep student interest high, so using the worksheets is a varied experience for them.
EPISODES INCLUDED IN THESE CRASH COURSE U.S. HISTORY WORKSHEETS
This resource includes a worksheet, a time-stamped worksheet, and a detailed answer key for episodes 21 - 25 of Crash Course U.S. History:
• The Civil War, Part 2
• Reconstruction and 1876
• The Industrial Economy
• Westward Expansion
• Growth, Cities, and Immigration
All questions are presented in video order so that students can easily follow along, but these worksheets are not mere outlines that merely ask students to generate their own notes. Instead, they focus in on the key issues that students watching the videos should master in order to have a clear and concise understanding of the topic under study.
ARE TIME STAMPS A PRIORITY? HERE YOU GO!
Teachers who like to provide time stamps for video questions will find the work already done for them in this resource! A question sheet without time stamps, however, is also included for each episode.
IDEAS FOR USING THESE CRASH COURSE WORKSHEETS
Only a teacher knows what constitutes best use for a particular class, but I always find it helpful to see what creative approaches other teachers are using. Here are some good options for these worksheets.
• Print off copies and have students complete them as they watch the video.
• Send the PDF file electronically so students can complete them on tablet/laptop devices.
• Accommodate students who claim that the worksheets "go too fast:" Assign students to do only the evens or only the odds. After watching the video, pair students up to discuss and fill in missing answers.
• Create basic and advanced levels from the same worksheet: This is easily done by declaring that the "basic" level is odds-only (or evens-only) while the "advanced" level consists of all the questions.
• Encourage students to challenge themselves to do the advanced level by offering extra credit or by announcing that the basic level can only earn a C at best, but A and B grades are available at the advanced level.
• Run a game show: Have students watch the video carefully and take notes. Form groups afterwards and have them pool their notes, briefly discussing the whole video. Pass out the worksheets only AFTER this discussion and have each group fill out one collaboratively. Go over the answers out loud, calling on groups to respond. This option means making fewer copies: only one per group.
• Run a multi-round game show: Print out only one copy of the worksheet and cut it apart to make question strips. Have students watch the video carefully and take notes. Form groups afterwards and have them pool their notes, briefly discussing the whole video. Ask the questions out loud, handing the question slip used to the group that first supplies the correct answer. In this way the question strips become a point counter to keep track of group progress. After all questions have been used, have each group ask each of their questions of the other groups -- this provides an additional level of review and gives groups a chance to recoup points they missed on the first round. This option means making only a single copy!
• Let students self-assess their learning: Print out one worksheet per student, but hang onto them until students have finished watching the video. Then pass them out and have students work in pairs or individually to see how much they remember. Watch the video a second time to let them fill in the gaps. Finally, go over the material aloud to review with the class and let them fill in the blanks.
• Use worksheets as a traditional quiz: As above, but collect papers for grading before going over the items aloud.
I am sure there are many more fun and engaging ways to use these worksheets, but I do hope that you find them useful and that the video series helps you keep student interest in history high throughout the year.
---> Please note the bargain pricing!! At just 4.99 for 5 worksheets, that's less than a dollar per worksheet, making this a truly affordable addition to your history repertoire!
LOOKING FOR MORE CRASH COURSE U.S. HISTORY WORKSHEETS?
Check out my growing collection here:
Crash Course U.S. History Worksheets: Episodes 1-5 -- From Native Americans and the Spaniards to the Seven Years War and the Great Awakening
Crash Course U.S. History Worksheets: Episodes 6-10 -- From Taxes, Smuggling, and the American Revolution to Thomas Jefferson's Democracy
Crash Course U.S. History Worksheets: Episodes 11-15 -- From the War of 1812 to 19th-Century Reform Movements
Crash Course U.S. History Worksheets: Episodes 16-20: From Women in the 19th Century to the Civil War
Crash Course U.S. History Worksheets: Episodes 21-25: From the Civil War to Growth, Cities, and Immigration
LOOKING FOR CRASH COURSE WORLD HISTORY WORKSHEETS?
You can find worksheets for the entire series at the links below. To save money, check out the bargain bundle options!
---Crash Course World History Worksheets for Episodes 1-5:
From the Agricultural Revolution to the Persians and the Greeks
---Crash Course World History Worksheets for Episodes 6-10:
From Buddha and Ashoka to the Roman Empire and Republic
---Crash Course World History Worksheets for Episodes 11-15:
From Judaism and Christianity to the Crusades
---Crash Course World History Worksheets BARGAIN BUNDLE for Episodes 1-15:
From the Agricultural Revolution to the Crusades
---Crash Course World History Worksheets for Episodes 16-20:
From Mansa Musa and Islam in Africa to the Mongols
---Crash Course World History Worksheets for Episodes 21-25:
From Columbus, De Gama, and Zheng He to the Spanish Empire, Silver, and Runaway Inflation
---Crash Course World History Worksheets for Episodes 26-30:
From the Seven Years War to the Haitian Revolutions
---Crash Course World History Worksheets for Episodes 31-35:
From Latin American Revolutions to the New Imperialism
---Crash Course World History Worksheets for Episodes 36-42:
From World War I to the Upsides and Downsides of Globalization
Great History Teaching