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Spotlight Focus on the History of Our Rights Part 2

two boys and a dad productions

I’m so excited to share this next part of how I taught these units which focused on the history of our rights.  The digital age is here in the form of DIGITAL INTERACTIVE NOTEBOOKS.  What is that?  It is similar to a traditional interactive notebook, but it is all digital and accessed through a Google account using Google Slides.  As long as the student has a Google Account (which is free), students will have access to storage on Google Drive and all Google Apps (namely Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Maps).

As I indicated before, this is my first year in a 1:1 classroom with Chrome Books.  I received very little training in how to incorporate these Chrome Books into my instruction, so I experimented along the way and became hooked on the digital format of the interactive notebook!  My first attempts were basic, but since then (after much experimentation), I’ve really seen how much learning can be done through a digital interactive notebook.

What are the advantages of a digital interactive notebook?

two boys and a dad productions

There are many advantages of using a digital interactive notebook.  The biggest advantage I have seen is that a digital notebook is not static:  you can add lots of multimedia and color!  That increases student motivation and retention.

Here are some examples of the Digital Interactive Notebook I used with the unit on the Civil War:

two boys and a dad productions

two boys and a dad productions

I was able to embed links to reputable, kid friendly websites ( so the students could research each individual we studied in depth.  Once the information was added, we could then compare and contrast the role of each and see connections between these individuals.  Even better, as we found out more information on each person, the students were able to go back and add, edit and revise which is something that would be tricky to do with a traditional interactive notebook!

Here are examples of the Digital Interactive Notebook I used for the unit on Women’s Suffrage:

two boys and a dad productions

two boys and a dad productions

By using actual photographs and video of the era (no need to use up printer ink or make copies!), students were able to see the real struggles women endured to secure their right to vote.  Photographs are wonderful as primary sources to use for inference, description, and analysis.  Adding an embedded link to a video brought the entire struggle to life for my third graders!

Here are examples of the Digital Interactive Notebook I used for the Civil and Human Rights unit:

two boys and a dad productions

two boys and a dad productions

two boys and a dad productions

What is wonderful about these Digital Interactive Notebooks is that they turn into projects that can be shared at Open House or other events.  Since students can access them from anywhere, including home, they can be assigned as homework or study guides.  Parents can also see what their children are working on.  In fact, one new idea I plan to incorporate NEXT YEAR, is to add a page in which parents share their insights about the unit or about what their child is learning.  It will be a powerful way to keep parents in the loop about what were are learning and why it’s important.

A Sneak Peek!

I am currently working on revising and updating all these Digital Interactive Notebooks so that I can offer them in MY STORE.   One that HAS BEEN RECENTLY ADDED is a 24 slide Google Slides Interactive Digital Notebook on the American Revolution.  You can see it HERE NOW!

two boys and a dad productions

This Google Ready product some exciting features:

  • Table of Contents with links for easy slide navigation
  • Slide with kid friendly, reliable hyperlinks for research and note taking
  • Interactivity on all the slides
  • Practice with Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts
  • Non-grade specific but targeted to grades 3, 4 and 5
  • Student directions on each slide
  • Instructions for the teacher 
  • Tutorials for the teacher on how to set up the Digital Interactive Notebook on Google Classroom
  • Tutorials for the student on how to use the slides
  • and much more!

Visit MY STORE now and use the Custom Category Google Apps Ready for all my resources for digital content.

In the meantime, if you are looking for resources to get started with digital learning, consider following these Pinterest Boards:

Google in the Classroom

Google Products for Google Apps

two boys and a dad productions

You can also download this FREEBIE I created for use with Google Slides.  It is a note taking template that can be used to take notes on any subject. You can read about it HERE.

Download the FREEBIE HERE.

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